Fast Eddie’s takes time making beautiful sandwiches
“He ain’t so fast anymore,” the clerk behind the register joked when I asked the other man behind the counter if he was Fast Eddie. The nickname may be a bit of a ribbing, the way some people might call me Slim, because the man, who is indeed Eddie, didn’t seem to be in a hurry, and that’s just fine.
I had plenty of questions and Eddie had plenty of answers, his passionate and in-depth descriptions of how each sandwich is carefully prepared—some garlic sauce on this one, that one with barbecue sauce—had my mouth watering. Three weeks early, he let me in on a few menu items premiering after the New Year, one a buffalo chicken sandwich that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, and fortunately Eddie had the special barbequed chicken and spicy sauce on hand to give me a sneak preview.
My lovely lunch date opted for the Bourbon Street—a chicken-salad sandwich—and we soaked in the deli’s homey vibe. From the second you pull into the deli-in-a-converted-house or park out back near a big old barbecue drum, it’s like cruising over to a friend’s house, a friend who happens to make really good sandwiches.
The place is decorated with sports memorabilia, some national but mostly dedicated to Pleasant Valley High, being as it is deep in Viking territory. Amplifying the comfortable atmosphere, they serve beer, not just bottles but pitchers of delicious, cold beer. This beer is also a boon in the deli’s proximity to the Cinemark 14 theater; it’s a perfect place to have a real drink and some substantial food before a movie.
Our sandwiches were spectacular, as were the sides. There’s a well-worth-it option to add a choice of salad and beans on the side for $2.50. The beans are one-of-a-kind, spicy and sweet and delicious. Though I’m rarely a fan of potato salad on the sweet side, Eddie’s is so sweet it’s almost an entirely different, and shockingly tasty, thing altogether.
My buffalo chicken sandwich was a thing of beauty, dripping with buffalo sauce and dressed with a dash of ranch, some light vegetables and melted pepper jack. Fast Eddie’s has other barbecue specials throughout the week (many more in summer, he said), that I’m eager to try out.
We visited a second time the very next day. My companion was so enamored of the Bourbon Street she ordered it again and I, wanting to test their more traditional deli fare, went with the Hightower, a triple-decker club stacked Scooby Doo high with meat, cheese and vegetables. It was delicious. Though Eddie wasn’t in, a group of gracious young ladies upheld the friendly feel of the place.
Fast Eddie’s offers more than two dozen types of sandwiches, from the straightforward-sounding Little Italy to the exotically named Chi-ranch-a-lot, all of them final products of Eddie’s ongoing quest to make extraordinary sandwiches.
Eating at Fast Eddie’s was an all-around good experience, one I look forward to repeating soon. Unless you call ahead (in which case, there’s very little crowd to deal with), it’s more suited toward a nice, long, perhaps beer-sodden lunch or light dinner before a movie date than for fast lunch on the run, but the best things are worth slowing down for.