The Boston Phoenix
November 18 - 25, 1999

[Food Reviews]

| by restaurant | by cuisine | by location | hot links | food home |
| dining out archive | on the cheap archive | noshing & sipping archive | uncorked archive |

The A&A Deli

Oasis in a dry town

by Mike Miliard

Sometimes it's tough living in Arlington. It takes an hour and a half to get home on public transit when traffic's snarled up. And -- talk about adding insult to injury -- Arlington's a dry town. Thank the maker, then, for the A&A Deli. Standing sentry at the Brattle Street bus stop, it beckons the weary traveler with ample, inexpensive sandwiches. The décor may be minimal (best described as convenience-store chic), but the food is excellent.

Take, for example, the "Paul Bunyan" -- grilled chicken with honey-mustard sauce, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and smoked Canadian bacon. Even Babe the Blue Ox would have a tough time finishing the large version. Another flavorful combination is the "Smoked Stack": smoked ham, smoked turkey, smoked provolone, and poppy-seed dressing. As Homer Simpson would say, "Mmmmmmm . . . smoky."

The A&A has some interesting takes on the traditional steak bomb, too. The "Alexander the Greek" includes kalamata olives, feta cheese, and cucumber sauce; the "Steak Siciliana" takes eaters across the Ionian Sea to the land of black olives, mozzarella, and marinara. The "Oriental Black Dragon" is your standard steak, peppers, and onions, but it's topped with a piquant ginger-teriyaki sauce. Prices start at $3.25 for a small sandwich and go up to about $7 for a 14-inch-long large. With the time and money you save preparing dinner, you can stop off in Cambridge for a sixer on your way home.

The A&A Deli, located at 1042 Mass Ave, in Arlington, is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call (781) 643-8175.

The On the Cheap archive