Past summers have seen a couple of vendors peddling food out of the walk-up window on Umatilla Street behind the Truffle Table, 2556 15th Street. First there were sandwiches from Tifamade Cantine in 2014, followed in 2016 by Hawaiian poke from Ohana Island Kitchen, which moved to its own permanent location on 15th later that year. Continuing the two-year cycle is Gorgeous Deli, where chef Jerome Skaggs will start selling sandwiches and other fresh-made items this Saturday, May 19.
Skaggs moved to Colorado last August after spending seven years working in New York City kitchens, including Franny's in Brooklyn; cooks there shopped at farmers' markets five days a week for local, seasonal produce. Skaggs is carrying that ethos over to the Gorgeous Deli, calling it "an ingredient-driven delicatessen" with rotating ingredients and choices dependent on Denver farmers' market selections.
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The star of the show will be the chef's own pastrami, made with brisket from grass-fed Sun Prairie Beef out of Yuma, Colorado; there will also be a vegetarian version of a pastrami sandwich made with smoked beets. Both will be served on rye bread with mustard, pickled vegetables and horseradish crème fraîche (which can be left off if you want the sandwich dairy-free). A third choice will rotate each week based on what Skaggs finds in his farmers' market visits. Three or four sides and salads (with unique bites like hazelnut-and-mushroom-stuffed cabbage rolls) will also be available, as well as hand pies made with seasonal fruits.
The only thing he won't be making himself is the mustard, Skaggs says. And that will be Gulden's, a deli classic.
Sandwiches will range from $9 to $13, and sides from $3 to $6. Initially, Gorgeous Deli will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but Skaggs plans to expand to five days a week in late June.
Follow Skaggs on Instagram at @GorgeousDeli for details, times and menu hours.