Carnivore Sandwichby Eileen Sondak Photo by Ryan Sondak January 29, 2018
Looking for a great Jewish deli in the downtown area? Head straight for Carnivore Sandwich, across the street from the train station.
This little gem is just a small, no-frills corner eatery, but it boasts some of the best basic deli sandwiches in town. Although the selection is a lot smaller than what you find on typical Jewish deli menus, you can order right at the counter, without waiting for table service. The interior is comfortable and unpretentious – with a few tables and counter-style bar seating. New Yorkers will notice an homage to the Empire State Building in the restaurant’s brick wall and marble counter. A sidewalk patio offers pleasant alfresco dining.
Owner Brian Ball is especially proud of his pastrami sandwiches, so check those out to satisfy your inner carnivore. Other deli delights include corned beef, chopped liver, tongue, hard or soft salami and oven-roasted turkey breast. Sandwiches are available in he-man sized portions, but if you’re trying to eat light, you can opt for the half-sandwiches – which are more than enough for most diners. For $13.95, you can get a half sandwich, bowl of soup or salad, 20-oz. drink, deli side and a pickle.
You can build your own sandwich (and they all come with pickle, and a deli side of your choice). We loved the pastrami with Swiss and deli mustard on rye bread ($11.95) and the turkey with cranberry sauce and Swiss on delicious cranberry-orange walnut bread ($11.95).
You can’t go wrong with one of the specialty sandwiches, such as “The Boss” ($12.95 for a huge mix of corned beef, pastrami, Swiss and Russian dressing on rye), or the Philly Cheese
Steak with onions, peppers, mushroom and cheese on a ciabatta ($12.95).
There are no ho-hum sides at Carnivore’s. The potato salad is a winner, and we particularly loved the beet salad and the tasty cucumber salad. You can take them home by the pint or half-pint as well.
If you appreciate a good tuna salad sandwich, you’ll want to try this one, made with Albacore tuna, red onion, celery, relish and Hellmann’s mayo ($11.45). The crab melts ($15.95) are another good bet, as are the chicken salad sandwiches ($11.45).
Of course, what would a Jewish deli be without some good homemade soups? Carnivore doesn’t disappoint in this department either. They serve matzah ball soup, split pea, chicken noodle and a soup of the day. Several salads –including Greek salad ($10.95), chef salad ($11.95) and the specialty Carnivore salad ($13.95) are always available.
Breakfast lovers can choose from a few lox dishes, including our favorite the lox crostini ($10.95) which features lox, cream cheese, walnuts, and sliced avocado on toasted challah, or indulge in the Big Apple ($8.95) made with pastrami, fried egg and cheddar on your choice of bread. The morning special is just $5.95 and includes bagel, cream cheese, coffee and a side of fruit.
Along with a variety of fountain drinks ($2.50), coffee ($2.50), fresh squeezed juice ($3.25), and hot or iced tea ($2.50), you can enjoy specialty bottled drinks, such as Dr. Brown’s celery tonic ($3.25).
If you hunger for a quick and satisfying breakfast or lunch, you’ll love Carnivore. The informal restaurant is tucked into the corner of B Street, and features reasonable prices and quality food.
670 B Street. San Diego, CA 92101