Everyone’s Favorite Sandwich Shop Chuck’s Deli Is Making A Comeback
From the time it first opened in 2010 until it closed in 2015, Chuck’s Deli set the standard for American-style delicatessens in Manila by making everything from scratch—breads, assorted fillings, sauces, and sides.
Chuck’s Deli opened in Serendra eight long years ago, putting up a branch in Eastwood Mall as well, where it became known for its hefty American-style sandwiches, including its very popular Slabwich, a signature ciabatta sandwich that came in many quirky-named delicious variants.
Now, Chef Katrina Alcantara—who initially closed the sandwich shop to focus on starting a family—is poised to bring Chuck’s Deli back later this September. (Check out @chucksdeliph on IG or FB for the final opening date.)
Alcantara is opening what she fondly calls her “Chuck’s Deli 2.0” in a hip new space that also houses Kermit Manila (the Manila branch of a very popular Siargao-based restaurant) in the relatively quieter section of Makati’s now famous Poblacion district. It is located on Molina Street, just two very short, parallel blocks west of A.Venue and Makati Avenue.
“We were originally just moving Chuck’s Deli to another location after the Serendra lease expired in 2015,” shares Alcantara. But then, things got really hectic for her, as she found out the good news that she was pregnant with her first child, while finalizing the details of opening her other restaurant, CDP in Rockwell, with her good friend Malou Fores. She eventually was left with no other choice but to put Chuck’s Deli’s reopening on hold.
Now that Alcantara’s child is already four years old and her other business ventures—which currently include Aruga Café, CDP Rockwell, Mesclun Caterers, and LIT Manila—are all running smoothly, Alcantara finally decided to re-open Chuck’s Deli, much to the delight of her husband. His insatiable craving for the sandwiches he ate in his youth while based in the United States was actually the reason that they decided to open a Chuck’s Deli in the first place.
I was able to visit the new Chuck’s Deli for a sneak peek last week to check out what to expect once it opens to the public later this month.
What to try
For now, the menu will focus on serving some of the old bestselling Slabwiches, Chuck’s signature slab-like sandwiches served on its really good baked-on-the-premises ciabatta bread, together with a selection of housemade sides and assorted beverages. Once they have settled, Alcantara will start working on adding more of the old favorites on the menu aside from developing new dishes.
Based on the opening menu, my early favorites include the following;
The Chuckatsu Slabwich is the perfect marriage of chicken katsu and apple smoked bacon. Simply delish!
The Faking Duck Slabwich is Chuck’s answer to Peking duck. It’s called “Faking Duck” as it is actually made of roast pork dressed like a Peking duck, complete with lettuce, hoisin sauce, leeks, and crispy noodles for added crunch.
The Buffy Slabwich is buffalo (a.k.a. Buffy) chicken with garlic sauce. Slay!
Sides are also a must-try and I cannot seem to move on from the homemade potato chips and the good ol’ chili jalapeño fries.
You also MUST save room for the excellent milkshakes—the best I have tried so far! Made extra rich and creamy with the combination of ice cream and carabao’s milk, it’s topped with s’mores and torched marshmallow cream and comes in different flavors like French vanilla (my favorite), coffee, avocado, and chocolate.
Chuck’s Deli, 4636 Molina Street, Poblacion, Makati City, (0915) 486-0082
Follow @chucksdeliph on Instagram and Facebook
Photo by Cyrene de la Rosa
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