Trudel's Deli

{Trudel's is now Little Lois Cafe}

The two commercial slicers sitting side by side on the back counter of Trudel's Deli and Catering took me back to one of my first jobs as a teenager. I remember being terrified when I turned 18 and could legally use one of those beasts. The first thing I did was slice my pinkie. Manager Henry never let me touch the darn thing again. Even after my stitches had healed. Lucky me.
But it's not the injury my tastebuds were thinking about. They were giddy over being in the presence of freshly sliced turkey breast, pastrami, ham, and roast beef, oh my! (sigh).

Having a meat sandwich will have to wait, though. I was here to try one of their quiches I'd read about in the SJ.
Trudel's facebook page says that they've been in West Salem for 30 years. They must be doing things right.
We parked out front along Edgewater, and walked into the clean and inviting deli. There were several tables of varying sizes and plenty of natural light coming into the dining area from the windows along the east side of the building. On our way up to the order counter, we passed by one of their two deli cases with maybe five or six deli salads and three quiches on display.
As I scanned their list, I zoomed in on the tomato, basil, and mozzarella combination. The quiche option came with a small green salad or a cup of soup. I chose the soup--garden vegetable. N's eye was drawn to the daily special: tuna salad on sourdough, with a choice of one deli salad. N asked for a glass of water and I ordered a glass of iced tea.
I've eaten quiche at three other restaurants in town. Trudel's is the best I've had. The marriage of flavors was spot on. The filling was fluffy and moist, plus the crust was delicate and not overly flaky (held it's contents nicely). I appreciated that my slice wasn't overheated--just enough for the cheese to begin to melt. Such a nice variety of vegetables in my soup and the broth was rich and savory. I was glad I had ordered their iced tea. It was a flavored variety, but not overpowering. Very refreshing!
N admits it, he's been spoiled by the premium tuna we purchase from a cannery in Warrenton. So he wasn't thrilled with the texture of his tuna salad, yet he said it was seasoned to his liking. He also wished the sourdough bread had had more sourdough flavor. He enjoyed the potato salad, saying that it had lots of good flavors and was definitely house made. A bag of chips also came with his lunch. Our total came to $17.50 for our two lunches.

I'm glad we both had a Friday off to enjoy lunch, as they are closed on weekends.
I can't wait for another opportunity when I will try one of their deli sandwiches.

1211 Edgewater St. Suite 1 NW
Salem, OR, 9730
Mon-Fri: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm


Chuck Bradley said...

Like neighborhood taverns, true delis have been on my endangered species list for some time. Trudel’s is one of the few remaining examples, in this area, of this wonderful but dying breed. For years I thought their business name was a portmanteau rather than a family name! I no longer get across the river as often as I’d like, but I would love to see them keep doin’ what they’re doin’.

KandN said...

I'm surprised that true delis are so rare. Maybe it's due to grocery stores adding a deli counter? We are big on convenience. Although I'm noticing a trend in the other direction lately. An appreciation of going the extra distance for something calorie worthy.
One of my favorite things to eat while working at a deli (not the place I injured myself), was a thin slice of turkey breast, rolled up with mustard, swiss cheese and a slice of tomato inside. And just about anything inside pocket bread.

Chuck Bradley said...


Should we infer you may have some road-trip/Deli-destination suggestions?????

Your roll up memory sounds a little like some of my midnight refrigerator raids, sans the flour tortilla! (No wonder my old tailor referred me to Omar the Tentmaker.)

KandN said...

No, no deli suggestions. You? :)

If I kept those ingredients in the fridge, I'd be tempted to nibble, too.

Amber said...

The Kroc center actually has a little deli and although it's not the kind of deli you guys are talking about, their sandwiches are really good and very reasonably priced!