Deli on the Beach (Harbor Delicatessen - Dana Point, CA)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Visiting my family in Mission Viejo always has some plusses. Yeah, there's family, friends, love, blah blah blah, but then ther'e the fact that you can go visit a deli on the beach in December and it be a sweet 75 degrees. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Nor Cal weather.

Rob, my mom, and my brother and I had all decided to go have lunch with my Godmother Amy and her husband. After a slight restaurant mishap (the place we had originally planned on had a sign reading "We no longer serve Saturday lunch") we headed towards the deli. Now the Harbor Deli is a place you might not expect to find good food. Amongst the kitchy tourist crap stores, lines for whale watching tours, and vapid but beautiful beach slaves, its a bit of a gem.

The place was throughly packed and we literally got what seemed to be the last table. We all sat down and were warned that we should only order hald sammiches. We all looked at the menu and passing plates to understand why. They're as big as your face. A half order would do just fine. Potato salad, slaw, or fries also come with with each order, so you can promise yourself a full belly. Another plus was we were offered a plate of pickles. And not flacid pickles (get your mind outta' the gutter), they were fresh! Crisp! Zesty! Full of bite!

I had ordered a corned beef sammich because let's be honest, is there a tastier sammich meat? Oh no, my dear reader, I think not. It was stacked high with corned beef on yummy sourdough bread. It wasn't as flavorful as I had hoped, but nothing to complain about. The steak fries were also quite tasty, though they went a bid lukewarm rather quickly.

Rob had a brisket burrito. It was, well, blah. It had a taste of a mexican spice packect found in Albertson's. Yawn. It was good, just nothing exciting. The potato salad however was fabulous, and due to the table setting, I was unable to distract Rob in a way that would allow me to steal more.

Everyone else was truly happy with their meals. Really, the food here is damned good and while it's nothing to write home about, you won't be leaving disappointed either.

It was super packed and close to the holidays so the service seemed sparse as half of their servers seemed to be out for the holiday, and indeed they were. As such, Amy got fries instead of potato salad, which made her dish free. My brother got a lemonade that was literally all syrup. That was not made free, but quickly taken care of. My iced tea was forgotten. Still the waitress had sass and was lots of fun, and considering the situation it was easy to see that she was falling into the weeds and there was no other servers who would be able to save her. She was a saint of a server.

All and all, it was a good lunch. Nothing to write home about, but I would go again. Maybe after a whale watching excursion. Try to hit this place if you get the chance, just try to avoid the tourist traps.

Harbor Delicatessen
Dana Point Harbor
34667 Street Of The Golden Lantern
Dana Point 92624


  1. I can't imagine 75 degrees during Christmas!!! hehehe!

  2. I LOVE HARBOR DELI! They have the most authentic new york style food. Great food! Great service! I highly recomend it! :)


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