Hey, there's this grocery store in Sarasota that has a great deli counter that cranks out delicious subs. No, no, no... I mean, besides Publix. Yes, friends, I'm here to tell you about the sandwich dispenser located inside the Detwiler's Farm Market located at the southeastern corner of Lockwood Ridge and University Parkway.
The store opened last February, and, since opening, the market has gradually expanded its range of offerings, installing the deli counter early last fall. It was a smart move. Hungry shoppers are milling about the store constantly. Why not prey on their desire for lunch at the same time?
Detwiler's iconic fluorescent posters display the small deli's limited menu. The list includes "signature hoagies" and a pair of wraps, plus customizable sandwiches. In truth, they'll add whatever you like to their sandwiches, as long as you ask nicely. For example, the "California club" wrap ($6.99) includes a number of my favorites—guacamole, turkey, ham and bacon—but honestly, I've never eaten a wrap I've genuinely enjoyed. Could I get the wrap's ingredients on a hoagie instead? No problem.
To complement the hoagie's basic ingredients, you can trick it out with your typical selection of vegetables and condiments. The club has that guac spread, so it doesn't need mayo or mustard, but cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, jalapeños, pickles and olives help take the sandwich from OK to OMG. My club stretches out roughly as long as a roll of paper towels and comes wrapped tightly. I scamper away with my find and finish my midday shopping, snagging edibles both healthy (beans green and black) and not-so-healthy (Old Florida Gourmet tortilla chips).
Back at home, I unwrap my treasure. The bread is crinkly and delicate, barely containing the goodness bursting forth from within. The California is a classic, all the deli basics smoothed out and wrapped in Detwiler's smooth and rich guacamole. A handful or two of those Old Florida chips makes this a meal. The chips' unique reddish-orange seasoning adds a slight touch of spice but not much, and their thin slicing guarantees a delicate snap in your mouth.
A major advantage of grabbing lunch at a grocery store means a whole world of sides surrounds you. Same goes for desserts. Detwiler's repackages a ton of different types of small sweet bites. Its sea salt caramels are legendary. Tiny nibs of chocolate stuffed with a dollop of caramel, these treats are sugary without being saccharine. You'll finish a tub in no time.
One final pro tip: A half a Detwiler's sub is more than enough for a solid lunch. But if you save the second half for lunch the next day, the bread will get soggy. Don't fear. Turn on your broiler and place your sandwich in the oven for a minute or so right-side up and then upside down. The heat will dry out the bread a bit and restore its crunchy exterior. Is it obvious I've eaten dozens of these sandwiches?
The University Parkway Detwiler's Farm Market is located at 6100 N. Lockwood Ridge, Sarasota. For more info, call 378-2727 or visit detwilermarket.com.