Lakeview Bakery and Deli
In a word: We liked these lunches bunches.
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JM ate the meatball sub on an Italian roll and chili with Doritos and a Snapple.
Nichole ate the chicken salad sandwich on wheat bread with a salad, and oatmeal cookie, and a coffee.
JM also got some Valentine's Day cookies for the office.
The bill was $10, or $5/person, plus tip - thanks, WPR 2-4-1!
JM and Nichole both gave Lakeview Bakery and Deli an A and sincerely hope it doesn't close now (see our grading rubric).
Getting into Lakeview Deli from the back parking lot is a challenge - we snaked through the Hotel Ruby Marie building a bit before we stepped down into its well-lit corner dining room. But once inside, you'll likely be greeted by a member of the very friendly staff, as we were. We also appreciated the easy 1-2-3 of ordering the $7 lunchbox special: build a sandwich (pick bread, cheese, meat, veg); choose soup or salad; choose cookie or chips. Everything they have is written up clearly on a huge whiteboard above the counter, or on attractive display in the deli and bakery case. On this day, Lakeview was pretty busy with a lunch rush which seemed to have come from MGE across the street.
JM found his chili rich and satisfying, even though it had a few too many beans for his taste. His meatball sub was the star of the meal, however, with great meatballs that anchored the flavor of the sauce while stubbornly refusing to be overtaken by it. Between the also quite good bread, cheese and meatballs, you've got a rich and filling meal without paying much for it (although it did get sloppy by the end). Both the chili and the sandwich had a nice tomato flavor.
Nichole found herself thinking of this meal fondly over next few days. It was a fine example of what can be done with straightforward preparation of simple ingredients. The tender wheat bread was (almost too) thick. Though very soft and not too wheaty, it managed to hold together under its heavy load of chicken salad mixed with a generous amount of real mayo. She definitely could have passed on the Swiss cheese, which got lost in the shuffle. (Who puts Swiss cheese on chicken salad? Well, maybe it works.) A pickle would have been most welcome, but the vegetable salad was very good, with fresh pieces of tomato, spinach leaves and seeded cucumber slices in a light dill and sour cream dressing. The deli case held many such attractive salads, including a couscous dish and a carrot salad in addition to the standard pasta and bean affairs.
On the way out, JM grabbed some pink-sugared, heart-shaped Valentine sugar cookies for his co-workers, which were well-received. Likewise Nichole's oatmeal raisin cookie was a nice afternoon snack with a cup of decent coffee. Her major disappointment in Lakeview is that their coffee comes from a Bunn. Another downside seems to be the open hours, which preclude evening or early morning forays. In pretty much every other respect, Lakeview is a good destination for lunch.