The brick wall along the inside of Caffrey’s deli is festooned with doors of vintage refrigerators. But don’t let the decoration fool you: Cold cuts are not the deli’s signature food, it’s the hot subs that have lunch goers and late-night feasters drooling.
I recently visited the six-year-old deli, which is near the southwest corner of Lyndale & Lake. I ordered the Ranch Gobbler, one of the 18 hot subs on the menu to go with six cold subs.
The sandwich is filled with grilled smoked turkey, melted cheddar, lettuce, tomato and oozes with zesty ranch dressing.
I consider myself a sub connoisseur, and there are qualities I like about national chain shops and local delis. But Caffrey’s combines several of those qualities, like soft bread, rich cheese, fresh lettuce and flavorful sauce. Unlike some shops, the meat is grilled upon order instead of being zapped in a microwave.
I found another gem on the menu. The deli’s fresh-baked cookies were delicious, especially the oatmeal raisin.
What I like about Caffrey’s menu is the wide variety of specialty sandwiches. The Blue Cow, for instance, is made with grilled roast beef, blue cheese crumbs, bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayo. The New Yorker is made with grilled pastrami, turkey, Swiss and mustard. The deli also has a good offering of cheese steaks.
There are also options on the menu for vegans and vegetarians.
Caffrey’s prices are in line with most sub shops. Most sandwiches are $6 or $7. There’s also has a selection of salads, wraps and soups.
While Caffrey’s makes a great lunch stop, it’s the late-night crowd that spills from area bars into the deli that makes it popular. The deli is open until 3 a.m. As the friendly staff explained to me, that’s when the shop is packed with the after-bar crowd craving a late-night snack.
The deli also has a surprisingly large delivery area, covering all of Southwest Minneapolis and into St. Louis Park.
My only suggestion to the owner would be to set out a couple tables on the sidewalk, if possible. The only thing better than eating a delicious hot sub is enjoying it outside, in the vibrant Lyn-Lake area.
3008 Lyndale Ave. S.