It just occurred to Femme de Joie that someone who works in the area of Market and Tehama is spoiled for choice at lunchtime. Within a block each way lie two sandwich shops, two Mexican restaurants, one pizza place, one pub, a Japanese restaurant, and probably another place or two that escape her just now. If what you’re actually craving is none of the above, well then, you’re probably outta luck.
So after Village Delicatessen closed last autumn, Premier Solutions of Shasta Lake took over that spot to use as an work experience site for disabled adults, helping them to integrate into the community and learn skills that will enable them to become independent as well as earn their own paycheck. There was already a Turbo’z Deli on Airport Road; this is branch #2 with the same menu and also run by Premier Solutions.
This is likely the first job for the people behind the counter, but you wouldn’t know that. Customers are greeted with cheerfulness and enthusiasm. You aren’t the next order in line; you’re a real person and staff is very eager to please. Service is speedy (though there seem to be a hiccup or two with the POS device at the counter). M. de Joie noted all employees wear plastic gloves when preparing the food. Prices are proportionate to the serving size.
High Octane, $6.89, with side of potato salad, 99 cents
The classic Reuben sandwich gets a new name at Turbo’z but is otherwise the same, corned beef-Swiss-sauerkraut. The menu says it’s grilled on marble rye, but there was no grill in evidence. It seems more likely that the corned beef was given a couple of minutes on high in a microwave to give it that frizzled crackly taste and texture. It would have been nice to have the entire sandwich grilled, and Femme de Joie wished for a kosher pickle on the side, but she really has no complaints, Note: this sandwich is very juicy and you’ll need a handful of napkins.
Potato salad is one of those things you never know about when you order it. Will it be house-made or will it be out of one of those plastic tubs packed in Eden Prairie, Minnesota – slippery lumpkins purported to be potato and saturated in a quicksand of gummy, sugary mayonnaise-like sauce? On her first visit, M. de Joie was delighted to find the potato salad made in-house of wedges of new potato in a mustardy dressing. It was so good that she ordered it again on a subsequent visit, when it was horribly oversalted and swimming in far too much sauce.
The Burn Out, $5.89
AKA Buffalo chicken wrap, this was made to order with warm chicken breast slices, spicy Buffalo sauce and ranch dressing plus fresh vegetables (avocado on request) and enveloped in the tortilla of your choice. Overall Femme de Joie liked it, though there seemed to be a streak through the wrap where it had been salted too well – perhaps on the chicken itself. She liked the spicy Buffalo sauce tempered with the tart ranch dressing and the crunchy red onion, though the avocado got a bit lost in the mix.
The Low Rider, $6.99, with side of macaroni salad, 99 cents
This was Femme de Joie’s favorite sandwich at Turbo’z, pulled pork smeared with barbecue sauce, then topped with pepper jack cheese and cole slaw on a crunchy roll. Unbelievably messy to eat, it was nevertheless a delight. The cole slaw was meant to go on the side but the counter staff asked if it should be placed on top, which was a very good idea. The celery seed-flecked slaw itself was very fresh and crunchy, a cool contrast to the kiblets of pork and sauce. Macaroni salad was on the bland side.
Overall, M. de Joie liked Turbo’z. They offer salads, hot dogs, and pizza along with the deli sandwiches, so there is a little something for everyone. Service is fast and very friendly, and while this isn’t breaking new culinary ground, it’s a good stop for a quick lunch downtown to grab a bite from someone who is really glad to see you.
Turbo’z Deli, 1300 Market Street (at Shasta), Suite 102, Redding, CA 96001. 530-241-1600, fax 530-241-1604. Open Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Closed Sunday. Street parking. Cards, cash; no checks. No alcohol. Indoor and outside seating. Vegetarian and vegan options. Follow them on Facebook at Turbo’z Deli 2 or Turbo’z Deli 1
Premier Solutions, 3591 Iron Ct., #2, Shasta Lake, CA 96019, 530-275-0400.
Femme de Joie’s first culinary masterpiece was at age 4, when she made the perfect fried bologna sandwich on white bread. Since then she has dined on horse Bourguignon in France, stir-fried eel in London, and mystery meat in her college cafeteria, but firmly draws the line at eating rattlesnake, peppermint and Hamburger Helper. She lives in Shasta County at her country estate, Butterscotch Acres West. She is nearly always hungry. Visit MenuPlease for more or send her an email at email@example.com.
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