Rich in flavor Ritchie’s Deli
Ritchie’s Deli463 Roberts St.
Reno, NV 89502
I’m sure I’m not the only one to have noticed I had Ritchie’s Southern barbecue pork sandwich ($6.50). It comes on a bun with a bed of coleslaw beneath the sleepy-headed pork. The barbecue sauce was relatively mild but tangy and sweet, and the slaw made for a nice contrasting texture. It was not quite as huge and messy as I had hoped, but it still had a nice home-cooked flavor. It came with a side, and since there was already slaw on the sandwich, I opted for the potato salad, which tasted like globs of mayo and mustard molded into potato-like lumps.
Mark had the turkey club (8-inch roll, $8.30). It was a good sandwich, though it didn’t quite adhere to the strict moral codes of The Club. It tasted more of sprouts than of bacon, and it came on a Dutch crunch roll that was more powdery than crunchy. Even though it might not have qualified for full Club membership (and the $8-plus price seemed a little unwarranted), it was a fairly tasty sandwich.
After the meal, I asked the usually wry and erudite Mark what he thought. “It was fine,” he said. “I don’t really have anything witty to say, which might be my harshest criticism of this place—that it does not inspire wit.”
He admitted to being rather perturbed by the lack of a lunch rush. And indeed, though we were there from noon to one, there were but a few customers and a plethora of empty seats. In fact, for the second half of our meal, there was only one other dude in the joint: a dour-looking guy sipping hot coffee and reading a second-hand sports page.
I hope this is just because Ritchie’s hasn’t yet found its niche, having opened just a few months ago. The sandwiches, though nothing amazing or innovative, are flavorful and well-crafted, and Ritchie’s deserves a loyal neighborhood following.
Ritchie’s is housed in an older building (probably a private residence until not too long ago), and this adds to the down-home quality of the atmosphere. In fact, everything at Ritchie’s—the ambience, the food, the service—has a charmingly amateurish vibe. It’s all quite pleasant but feels unpolished. Call it “authentic.” Anyway, it’s a nice little deli, and it provides a sandwich alternative on the otherwise taco-centric Wells Avenue.