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The storefront of Beach Hut Deli in Oceanside. Photo via Beach Hut Deli Yelp page
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Lick the Plate: Check out Beach Hut Deli in a booming downtown Oceanside

First off let me start a bit of background on how this story came to be. Several of my co-workers in Oceanside have been showing up lately with really fabulous looking sandwiches. They were like the perfect combination of old-school deli sandwiches that you might find at Milton’s with a modern, beach twist, or in this case, a Beach Hut twist.

My preconceived notions had me thinking that this “Beach Hut” in my mind was an old-school shack near the pier in Oceanside that somehow had eluded my Lick the Plate radar all these years. It was staffed and populated with Jeff Spicoli types (the surfer dude character from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”) for those unfamiliar. Surfers just out of the water looking to fill up on some righteous post surf grub. Well that notion was quickly dispelled after I checked out the website and found out that the Beach Hut is a franchise with 40-plu locations that was started in 1981 in Sacramento. Needless to say, my bubble was burst a bit when I realized most of the locations were nowhere near the beach and well, I’m OK with that as long as the food is solid. Owner Hal Zangana has the Oceanside location and a Beach Hut in San Diego.

When I made my way over to the Oceanside location it was definitely toward the beach,  a couple blocks away on Mission. It was in a mid-rise and surrounded by new construction, condos and a tad of the Oceanside grit that keeps it real down there. Big construction cranes that would be perfect for “Animal Kingdom” types to do something daring on are plentiful. Oh, and if you’ve not seen “Animal Kingdom” it’s killer. Shot in Oceanside and surrounding areas it’s kind of like “Point Break” Oceanside-style with the ever-stylish Ellen Barkin as the matriarch of the action sports crime family. I’ve seen them shooting around and it’s fun to be around and see their locations that we recognize.

Anyway, the location is on the ground floor of one of those mid-rises. They have a nice deck on the sidewalk that makes for some great people and construction watching which is impressive. It’s designed more like a sports bar beach hut and those things have been known to combine. Each booth has its own television and a plethora of TVs on just about every wall so if you are looking for a sport on TV there is a good chance they can satisfy that viewing desire. Back to the deli/Beach Hut/sports bar thing I mentioned earlier. Football pools and the like exist and the sporty and surfer and worker types coexist over good food and that mix of clientele that I love about Oceanside.

Regardless, I’m there for the food though and that has earned it a spot on the go-back list. I’ve been on a salad thing for lunch and to find a place that has several really killer ones near the daytime workspace is a good thing. The Super Salad is my go-to with quinoa, edamame, avocado, onions, tomatoes, feta cheese and lemon vinaigrette on your choice of an iceberg, spinach or romaine lettuce bed. I’ve been going with the romaine though I can see how some of these lend themselves to other beds. Eight fabulous salad options total with their version of a Wedge, doing it as it should be done.

A “Beach Munchie” section is happening with beach twists on nachos and of course a couple beach dogs with the Moon Doggie and a chili dog version called the Pipeline Pup. I will visit those after work one of these days after sampling some of they’re many beers on tap. Actually, this whole menu works perfect with some cold beers.

There were three soups on the board every day I went, and the New England Clam Chowder surprised me. Nice toasty bread in my to-go container as well. Hot and cold sandwiches abound along with  breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads, nachos and other munchies. They use a lot of cream cheese and avocado, which makes a lot of people happy. I like the combo. The sandwiches come in three sizes with the best seller chain-wide by far at all the Beach Hut Deli’s, is the ‘Surfin’ Bird’; Turkey, avocado, bacon and cream cheese. An Oceanside favorite is the ‘Malibu’; hot pastrami, Swiss cheese, Italian dressing, avocado and mayo on toasted garlic bread. Hungry eater types love their sandwiches because of the meat and avocado combo though there is a lot more going on. And ironically, there is a Spicoli sandwich with turkey, cheddar, bacon and lettuce on a toasted roll with some good old Ranch dressing … dude.

Like I said, it’s on my go-back list and the area is really transforming around it.

For more about Beach Hut Deli, view their menu or see their wide range of catering options, visit www.beachhutdeli.com or call them at (760) 529-9767.