By Henri Migala
August 3, 2022 (Alpine) -- If you’ve lived in San Diego for any length of time, or have raised a family here, then you’ve probably visited the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine, only a short 15-minute drive from East County. With attractions, events, performances, activities and shopping, there is literally something for everyone in the family at the Viejas Outlet Center.
And after a day or wondering, exploring, shopping, playing and gaming, or just strolling along the relaxing water features and artisan-crafted animal sculptures, there’s no shortage of eateries. We were attracted to the Alpine Country Deli, conveniently located between the Showcourt and the Skate Rink, nestled next to a relaxing fountain with outdoor seating under the refreshing coolness of large shade trees.
The timing for the Alpine Country Deli could not have been more inauspicious. They opened in August 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that had shut many businesses down. But the Deli was able to stay open; it closed for only a couple of days during the Santana Fire in October 2021, and only because the electricity was shut down to the region as a precaution to prevent other fires.
Thanks to the faithful patronage of the employees of the Outlet Center and the Casino, who were the Deli’s consistent and dedicated customers, the Deli persevered.
What you are instantly aware of upon entering the Deli is the affiliation with Boar’s Head. Being a full-service deli, it offers a full line of Boar’s Head products (beef, bologna, worsts, cheeses, chicken, ham and other delicacies). Unlike the large chain-stores, which are bound by contractual agreements to the prices they charge for Boar’s Head products, the Alpine Country Deli isn’t. As a result, the prices are much better than you can find anywhere else.
Boar’s Head was founded in New York in 1905, and after five generations of ownership, is still family-owned. According to their website, “We insist on the same unwavering commitment to quality we established over a century ago, standards mostly abandoned in a mass-produced world. We are proud to say that all our exceptional quality meats, cheeses, condiments and hummus contain no gluten, artificial colors or flavors, MSG added, by-products or fillers, or trans fat.”
All Boar’s Head meats, cheeses, condiments and hummus are gluten free and contain no trans fat from hydrogenated oils.”
Depending on the Boar’s Head product, and the amount of the product, you order, you might have to place your order in advance so that the Alpine Country Deli can order it fresh for you to pick up a couple days later.
Whenever I visit a new restaurant, especially when reviewing one for East County Magazine, I like to ask the staff, “What is the most popular item on your menu? Something that I really have to try.”
We were immediately directed, without hesitation, to the “P & B special,” made with Boar’s Head navel pastrami, London broil roast beef, bacon, with Swiss cheese, avocado, and whatever kind of vegetable toppings and condiments you desire. Hearty and delicious!
We also ordered chips and fountain drinks, and the full sandwich was large enough to two of us to share.
The friendly and delightful staff shared that the menu changes a little during the seasons. In winter, they serve bread bowls of either clam chowder or chicken tortilla soup, and in the summer, the offer meatballs.
Sitting outside, in the cool shade, enjoying a fresh breeze and relaxing next to a fountain, it was exactly why we came to Viejas Outlet Center in the first place – to relax and enjoy a good, healthy and nutritious meal after strolling along the sculpted pathways, ambling about soothing cascades while dropping into a shop or two to see what’s new.
It seems that the Alpine Country Deli has made an impression on their customers and reviewers. A quick Google search shows that the Alpine Country Deli enjoys a perfect 5-Star rating from all their reviewers on Facebook, and from 36 reviews on Yelp.
The comments by BJ N, from San Diego, capture the sentiments of the other reviewers:
“I visit this restaurant frequently on my lunch breaks. I can honestly say that I have tried all of their sandwiches and a couple of the salads (any of the sandwiches can be made as a salad). There isn't a single sandwich I wouldn't recommend. They always have great service and the owner has gone above and beyond to ensure his business meets the customers’ expectations. I definitely recommend Alpine Country Deli the next time you're shopping at Viejas Outlets or visiting the resort and casino.”
The Alpine Country Deli is open every day of the week, usually from 11-7, but based on mall hours to accommodate special events and the seasons.
Enjoy a short drive out of town and head to the Viejas Outlet Center. The children will like seeing the sculpted animals, you might find a deal you can’t pass up at one of the outlet stores, and everyone will get a bit of exercise exploring the many paths meandering through the Center. And when you’re ready, enjoy a healthy lunch at the Alpine Country Deli.
Viejas Outlet Center:
Alpine Country Deli (they have a Facebook page but not a website):