Photo above: Low fat White Moose.
Editor’s note: Members of our staff, aka the Lunch Bunch, go out to lunch to give you the rundown on the food and the atmosphere at local restaurants (OK, admittedly we also like to go out to eat, so win-win!). This week: Groucho’s Deli.
By Sally Mahan
Groucho’s Deli has a storied history, one that stretches back more than 70 years.
But we didn’t care about that at the time.
We only cared about eating.
And eat we did. (More about that history in a bit).
Groucho’s, which is at 81 Sea Island Parkway on Lady’s Island right across the bridge from Beaufort, serves up some amazing deli fare.
It’s known for its tasty potato salad and coleslaw, along with its scrumptious sandwiches.
In addition to loads of meat with all of the accouterments (lettuce, various types of cheese, bacon, tomato, etc.), it’s their play on sauces that help it stand out from other delis.
The special sauces are the “Formula 45,” a mix of Thousand Island and Russian blend with some spice thrown in; “Formula “95,” a light, sweet and tangy mustard blend; Danish Bleu, a Scandanavian sauce with a sour cream base; and some of the standards like ranch, mayo, honey mustard, raspberry vinaigrette and Italian.
The meats, which range from ham to turkey to pastrami to roast beef (very lean) and more, are very fresh, and there’s wide variety of breads to choose from, including Jewish rye, pumpernickel, white, wheat, and white or wheat soft-seeded roll.
There’s a lot to choose from on this menu, and my dining partners and I had a hard time deciding between the many sandwiches and sides. And oh, those sides. There’s the aforementioned homemade potato salad and coleslaw, in addition to bean salad and angel salad (a large plate of turkey breast over a plate of greens and other veggies). There are also a huge variety of other salads on the menu, including pasta salads, grilled chicken and more.
I had the White Moose sandwich (they come with chips and a pickle), which is turkey, melted provolone, lettuce and the 45 sauce. Our sales rep, Betty Davis, ordered the tuna salad plate and was very complimentary about how good the tuna was. The boss, Elizabeth Newberry, had the BLC Chicken Critter, which consists of grilled chicken, bacon crumbs, cheese melt and lettuce on the soft roll, and our graphic arts director, Hope Oswald, had the low fat White Moose.
We all agreed that the food was exactly what a deli should serve: hardy, tasty and fresh.
Now, back to the history of Groucho’s.
Harold “Groucho” Miller came to Columbia in 1941 with a handful of recipes he thought up as a youngster in a Philadelphia orphanage.
These beginnings and the idea that “quality is the most important ingredient” have led to Groucho’s legendary status for more than 70 years.
In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960’s Groucho’s Deli established its reputation by serving its high quality meats and cheeses.
Groucho’s began franchising in 2000. It receives lots of franchise applications, but only executes about three new units each year. Groucho’s feels that by slow controlled growth it can offer excellent launch (and ongoing) support and increase the likelihood for success.
Since its first franchise in Lexington, SC, Groucho’s has grown into multiple cities across South and North Carolina.
From Groucho’s humble beginning to expansion into new territories, the goal of each Groucho’s location is to be “Your Neighborhood Deli.”
If you go
Groucho’s is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. It is located at 81 Sea Island Parkway. Call 843-524-4545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.