Hoagies, pastrami on rye, ruebens and Italian sausage sub. What does that remind you of?
A classic, East Coast deli – maybe a little accent and East Coast (loving) attitude, right?
Longtime restaurant veteran and New Jersey-born Pete Pflum has recreated a traditional East Coast style deli in downtown Louisville – his home of the last 16 years. Pflum’s history is filled with experience at some of the more well known restaurants in the area from Zolo’s Grille to opening Jax Fish House in Boulder, to Pasta Jay’s to The Boulderado, to his last stint as Vice President of Airport Operations for Quiznos. Pflum said the restaurant business is all he has ever known, as he’s been working in them since he was 14.
Pflum and his wife Anne have had the dream of opening a deli for years. Pflum describes himself as “having a passion for sandwiches.” When the space became available on 641 Main Street they knew it was the perfect spot. They opened on Memorial Day in 2011.
The small space only has about 6 tables inside the deli, but boasts seating on their infamous front porch and under a large tree out back, available for warmer months. A new expansion into the space next door, is set to be live in December of this year which will allow them to grow into more seating in-house (24 new seats), instead of their current staple of quick lunches and to-go orders. Currently, Pflum says they sell about 100 sandwiches a day (on average) with many regulars, coming in everyday for their lunch.
Pflum is just the kind of guy you want running a restaurant. He’s always kind, he’s interested in what you have to say and treats his employees and customers with respect. With just 5 employees, Pflum thinks it’s the perfect size and loves how they’re truly a “family” and they all “trust each other.” Everyone does a little of everything – from cooking, recipe development, taking out the trash, ringing up customers and busing tables. He couldn’t be happier with his simple operation and he loves providing value and comforting food.
He shared with me, “If I’ve learned anything in all these years in the restaurant business, you just don’t say no,” to your customers which reflects his flexibility with the menu, offering vegetarian and gluten-free options and the freedom for customers to mix and match sandwich ingredients. If you ask for it, they can do it. If there’s any indication of his personalized service philosophy, his cell phone was on his business card for all Quiznos customers to call and today on their website, he lists his personal line.
The Porch Deli is built off The Italian sandwich as he found he couldn’t get a great sandwich like that in Louisville. He remembers he would drive into Boulder from Louisville, just to get a sandwich like he grew up on in Jersey from Sal, of Salvaggio’s (still one of his favorites to this day).
All the sandwiches at The Porch Deli are about $8 (or less) and the menu is large enough, without being overwhelming but truly offering something for everyone. They also serve soups and salads (think pasta salad, chicken salad, etc.) all of which are made in house daily. I tried their white bean chicken chili (below) and it was hearty and delicious. They pick up fresh-baked bread from Denver’s City Bakery everyday for their sandwiches and their sausage is from Old Style Sausage, just down the street in Louisville. Their meats are nitrate and gluten-free, as well.
When I visited him one snowy Saturday afternoon in early November, he served up his favorite and most popular dishes so I could get the low-down on their menu. Even for a late afternoon after lunch time, the deli had a regular stream of customers, many of which Pflum knew personally by name. As each customer left, without fail, he smiled and always genuinely remarked, “Thanks for coming folks.”
For the future, they’re considering getting their beer and wine license and maybe expanding to offer specialty, gourmet grocery items. They’re also planning on starting a Supper Club where families can pick up more entree-like options and bring home to eat together. It’s as simple as signing up and each day they’ll offer something new like spaghetti and meatballs to meatloaf. The Porch Deli also offers catering and boxed lunches for businesses in the area.
The formula is simple really. Put together years of restaurant experience, an understanding for East Coast delis, attentive and quick service, solid sandwiches with the right ingredients and a joy for what they do – you can’t really go wrong with The Porch Deli in Louisville, Colorado. It’s a hidden gem, but to folks in Louisville, they’ve always known they were special.Chances are, you will talk with either Anne or Pete directly when you go in, so if you’re craving a well-made sandwich, venture down Main on Louisville and stop in.
http://theporchdeli.com | 641 Main Street, Louisville, CO | Monday-Saturday 9am to 4pm. Closed Sunday.