Andy's Deli - 2005 Greene Street, Columbia

Posted by The LunchMen Friday, November 5, 2010

My Friend, My Dear.

There is only one thing that upsets my man Tank more than poor food quality and service – lack of parking. On numerous occasions, the Publican and I have witnessed Tank react to a lack of spaces with what can only be described as a mild coronary. The guy just does not like circling around looking for places to park. It is such a problem that he has vetoed lunch options solely on the premise that parking would be too hard to come by. However, rather than merely gripe about this, I decided to use Tank’s strange condition to my advantage. Following a morning long Sudoku session (more commonly known as continuing education seminar), I threw out the idea of an old favorite from my childhood in the capital city – Andy’s Deli. Tank was somewhat apprehensive, but as soon as I regaled him with tales of a large and spacious lot to park in, he was on the suggestion like a fat girl on a BB.

First, a little history – I’ve probably eaten at Andy’s Deli more than any other place featured on the blog (including No Name Deli). Back in High School, I probably went at least twice a week for over three years, and many times more often than that. This continued while I was at Carolina. I know Mr. Andy. His younger son was in High School with me, and his older son was my First Week chaperone. (If you don’t know what First Week is, then you were not cool in High School and should find another blog to follow). In other words, I am well versed with the menu and its highlights. Why then, you may ask, are we just now getting a review on this Columbia landmark? Well, since I work downtown and live in the sticks, I don’t get to 5-points as much as I’d like, and just haven’t had the occasion to stop by in a while. All that changed today, however, as the three original lunchmen went in for another bold Friday call.

If you know Andy’s then you know what it’s famous for – the sauce. Much like it’s rival Groucho’s, the sandwiches at Andy’s are, while serviceable on their own, merely the stage upon which Mr. Andy displays his true culinary triumph – a delicious mixture of 1000 island, dill, and other undisclosed ingredients. The sauce is thicker, and in my opinion superior to Groucho’s 45 sauce, but I mention it to provide others with a point of reference and comparison.

For this day’s lunch, Tank went with the R2D2 – a grinder style sandwich with roast beef, pastrami and swiss – heated and served with the aforementioned sauce – plus a bowl of chili (Editor’s note – many people find that Andy’s while undeniably delicious, is somewhat lacking in the portion department, and therefore order additional menu items such as chili, an extra bag of chips, or a hot dog. Rabbit is too restrained (read: cheap) for such indulgences, but it is a common occurrence amongst others). The Publican, always a traditionalist, went with the Andy’s Special – another grinder featuring Roast Beef, Turkey, Bacon and Swiss, and added an extra bag of chips to complete his meal. Speaking of chips, a big draw of Andy’s is their variety of Wise brand chips you can choose from. All sandwiches automatically come with chips, and you can choose any one of several delicious flavors at your fingertips when you stand in line. Both patrons made quick work of their entrees. Tank summed it up when he said “the only word that can accurately describe an R2D2 is ‘delicious.’”

As for this guy, I went with my favorite – the My Dear’s Salad Bowl (as previously featured in my list of top 25 Columbia Salads post last month). This salad is covered in ham, turkey, bacon and cheese, and you can get the sauce as your dressing, either on it or on the side. As you can see by the picture, if you order this, there is no need for a second item to fill you up – you are lucky to get through this in one sitting. Though it had been a while since I had been in, Andy hadn’t lost his touch, and I soon found myself stuffed and satisfied. Add in a tall diet coke or tea with some of Columbia’s best crushed ice (and now featuring – finally – free refills) and you’ve got the makings of a great Friday lunch.

I encourage everyone, whether an Andy’s veteran or a first timer, to remember this place and all its history and deliciousness the next time you are near campus looking for a solid lunch call. You won’t be disappointed.



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Rabbit, Tank, and The Publican are three dudes just trying to get through the work week here in Columbia. Rabbit is a Columbia native, Tank is from Charleston, and The Publican hails from Greenville. Rabbit's favorite lunch spot is the No Name Deli on Elmwood, where you may find him putting down a grilled chicken salad and a side of vinegar pasta. The Publican usually wants to find food to cure his all-too-common hangovers. Tank claims no favorite lunch spot - he lives for the thrill of the hunt.


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