Around for nearly 40 years, Keith’s Deli used to be located in the old Chinook Centre. The deli has since moved across the street into the otherwise nondescript strip mall across from Calgary’s current haven for mass-consumerism. One of Calgary’s best kept culinary secrets, the shop’s kitschy old-school feel gives the impression the place hasn’t changed much over the last four decades, a notion reinforced by the food.
While I’d love to be able to speak with more authority on the deli’s array of sandwiches and homemade soups, my experience there (despite numerous trips) has consisted of exactly one item: The Keitalian. The spicier version of the Deli’s signature Keith’s Special, The Keitalian is a sandwich that is as good as it is simple. Consisting of sausage, mustard, mayo and just enough lettuce to convince yourself there’s a vegetable involved, The Keitalian might be my favourite sandwich in the entire city and one that comes at the relatively bargain basement price of just $5.75. It should be noted however, there is another price to be paid with The Keitalian as my lunchtime visits to Keith’s often result in an office smelling of sausage for the rest of the day, and not emanating entirely from the sandwich.
Clockwise from left: Hail The Keitalian; California Raisin rockers; juicy sausage goodness. Photos by Kelsey Hipkin
Walking into Keith’s — especially on a brisk day — one is first delighted by the absolutely amazing smell of the place; a rich and Grandma’s cooking kind of smell that only fabulously cooked meat can provide. It’s a little like coming home really. As Cody mentioned, Keith’s rocks an old-school look: various paintings and prints and vintage ads adorn the walls and there are glass cases containing a virtual treasure trove of Happy Meal toys and collectibles including Fraggles, The Chipmunks and the rock sensation of my childhood, the California Raisins.
The joint was packed the day we went but the service is speedy and the people are genuinely nice and happy to have you there. I too, am a big Keitalian fan so not much more that I can say other than I love a damn fine spicy sausage on a fresh bun. Next time I’ll try something different to share with ya’ll. The same cannot be said for Cody.
6100 MacLeod Trail SW