I do my best to find sandwich places around Orange County, but a lot of times places get overlooked. Relying on Yelp or Google to interesting spots only takes me so far. Luckily, in this modern age of instagram and my insecure need for validation, I’m able to connect with a lot of people through social media. That being said, I was invited to try Do Lunch Deli in Santa Ana and I am so incredibly happy that I was; because I wouldn’t have known it was there otherwise. The restaurant is located next to the Santa Ana Stadium (which I didn’t know existed) and the city courthouse. I parked at the stadium like a moron, rather than the structure attached to the restaurant. Try not to do that when you check out the restaurant (they will validate at the correct structure)
The restaurant is deceptively large once you go inside, with some beautiful artwork on the walls and Netflix playing on the T.V. (watching The Office while eating a sandwich is heaven to me). I had an opportunity to try two sandwiches on Do Lunch Deli’s menu, a Cubano and their most popular sandwich: “The Honey Bird”
Do Lunch Deli’s Honey Bird and Cuban
Do Lunch Deli’s Cuban is served on a griddled ciabatta bread, an interesting change from the traditional Pan Cubano that you would normally see. Ciabatta itself is a very dense bread with a hard crust, it’s great for holding messy sauces and rich fillings. In this case, it’s needed to help with the salty bacon and large portion of pulled pork. One thing I loved was the hot crunch of the bread mixed with the soft hours long pulled pork,
The Honey bird’s honey glaze croissant really is what defined the sandwich. The ingredients aren’t anything out of the ordinary; but what differentiated the honey bird from other chicken sandwiches is the use of a sweet croissant. Buttery layers of crispy hot pastry mixed with a little messy honey glaze took this sandwich in a direction that I didn’t expect it to.
The Cuban is a feast of pork in between hot ciabatta bread. With a generous mound of house made pulled pork and black forest ham. I was surprised when I found out there was also bacon in this sandwich, as it changed the dynamic of the sandwich just a little. The bacon’s saltiness overtook the thin sliced pickles in the sandwich, and integral part of any cubano. This is where Do Lunch Deli’s house made pickle slice was integral, it’s texture and flavors serving to balance the meat and cheese.
There’s nothing in the Honey Bird that most people wouldn’t like. With oven roasted chicken breast, creamy avocado, and melted cheese what’s not to love? the crispy bacon was a nice crunchy addition to creamy textures of melted cheese and avocado.
Cubano sandwiches tend to have yellow mustard, it seems kind of boring but it actually works very well with the flavors. Do Lunch Deli’s Cuban sandwich uses a deli style mustard with a little more grain to it. It’s a little more subtle and was overpowered by all the meat and cheese (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). I tried some of the sandwich with yellow mustard and it changed the flavors dramatically. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
The most striking flavors of the Honey Bird sandwich came from the honey glazed croissant. It had a garlic aioli on it, which helped balance the sweetness a bit (along with the avocado) but the sauce itself was more subtle than expected.
They also have a nice selection of hot sauce for any of you fire enthusiasts:
A la carte sandwiches will run you about $10 but the portions are pretty good depending on what you order. The Size of the honey bird is a little bit smaller than the Cuban, but its richness makes it pretty filling. When it comes to size for money, the Cuban is very generous. The mounds of slow cooked meat and cheese will keep you full for awhile.
Do Lunch Deli’s menu is filled with solid choices, many of which you can seemingly find at other sandwich places. What differentiates them from other places is their house made meat and pickles; it’s like the happy medium between upscale sit down restaurants and more economical counter service places.
BTW, they validate parking so long as you park in the structure next to them. Don’t park at the stadium if you’re just going there for lunch (like I did).
Do Lunch Deli
901 W Civic Center Dr #150
Santa Ana, CA 92703
Mon-Fri: 10AM – 6PM