Without a car but with hours to spare on foot while waiting for new brakes, a tire rotation, and an oil change, we walked around downtown Martinez in the vicinity of the repair garage. We thought about other people who might be drawn here for any number of reasons, since it is the county seat, and we figured, why not find the best places to recommend to those who, like us today, are on foot? Where can someone walk to for great, quick food? Today we sampled from three restaurants, to provide a spectrum of what’s not just available, but also great quality.
Luigi’s Deli and Market was the final stop during our day downtown. It has had a makeover in the last couple of years since we’ve been here. Outdoor patio seating and lots of indoor tables accommodate all the people that flock for the fresh sandwiches and deli salads, and Zach noted all the salads looked fresh. To share, we got a hot corned beef sandwich with all the trimmings: Swiss cheese, pickles, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing. It was grilled on a panini press with Semifreddi’s bread, melting the cheese perfectly. Ninety percent of the cheese and all the meat served here comes from Boar’s Head; the 10% of the cheese that’s not is special order for customers. The sandwich was everything you could hope for in a hot, traditional style. From grilling the bread it was nice and crispy on the outside but not too hard at all to pull through. The highlight of the sandwich was the corned beef, followed closely by the Swiss cheese. The meat was very lean, fresh, and not too salty and very mild with the pickling spices. The cheese was strong and sharp but not overwhelming, as it balanced well with the other elements. Additionally, the meat and cheese are available for you to buy sliced and take home.
If you are a soda fan, you will be left with your jaw on the floor. There are over 400 different kinds of soda available, and many of them are from small bottlers that have been open for over 100 years! Even though this picture shows hundreds of them on a shelf, there is also a cold case so don’t worry, not everything is room temperature. For the sodas that are, they have an ice machine with cups for you to cool your drink in a jiff. Not pictured also are the six racks of different potato chips, including baked, low-calorie, and kettle.
With a variety of sandwiches for your hunger, and an even bigger multitude of beverages for your thirst, Luigi’s won’t leave you dissatisfied.