Saturday, June 16, 2007

South Baltimore Restaurant Review: Beach Bums Cafe and Deli

Johnnycakes and I got to try a "not so new"and "not even so new to us" but "new" restaurant in Federal Hill today. We had a delicious lunch at Beach Bums Cafe and Deli at 1038 Light Street.

We had been to Beach Bums many times over the past few years for their yummy ice cream and shakes after dinner or just for a treat. They usually have some interesting ice cream flavors such as fried ice cream and chocolate gold. More recently, we had noticed a sandwich board on the sidewalk or signs in the window advertising various sandwich varieties but we had never had much inclination to try the food. The concept of food at the ice cream shop just didn't "click" with us.

We started to hear some positive feedback about the food at Beach Bums and their extensive menu and large portions. Today seemed like the perfect day to try a new lunch spot after a morning spent at the gym and laying poolside.

The little storefront is small and awkward inside, particularly because of the ice cream display case but the decor is cute and definitely has the beach feel to it. Additional seating in the back takes care of any overflow issues in the small dining area in the front.

We were surprised at the extent of the menu. They have a huge variety of sandwiches that range from turkey clubs, shrimp salad submarines, veggie sandwiches, lunch meat combos, chicken sandwiches, Reuben's and Rachel's. To make things a little more interesting, most of the sandwiches have a cute little name attached which may or may not provide a description of the actual food, such as the veggie "Bahama Cooler", ham and cheese "Swisster Twisster" or BBQ chicken "Texas Twister".

I ordered the "Pigs on the Wing" which I was a huge serving of chicken salad made with almonds and bacon topped with tomato on wheat toast. The portions were daunting but it was so tasty I had to restrain myself to only eat the half. Johnnycakes didn't go for one with a cute name but ordered a delicious tuna salad submarine with a huge serving of bacon on top. His election to have hots on the sub made it extra spicy and gave it a very unique flavor. I liked it so much that I'm going to have to try it with hots next time. Each sandwich was served in a basket with potato chips. A drink cooler has a nice variety of not so common drinks. A diet soda drinker, I was delighted to find a Dr. Browns diet cream soda.

The service was very quick and friendly despite a steady influx of customers. To put it simply and in the words of a young guy who walked in with his friend "Damn, I guess we're not the only ones on to this place anymore".

Prices ranged from around $5.00 to $9.00 depending on the item but I think the huge portions make up for any extra cost. Our bill, with drinks and tax, came to $15.96

I think Beach Bums popularity will only continue to grow, especially since the good food and large menu selection makes you want to come back for more. I want to try the Turkey Breast Rachel next time with coleslaw and 1000 island dressing.

We'll definitely be back to Beach Bums Cafe and Deli to try other dishes and for some creamy ice cream. Lucky for us, the photo above shows the leftovers we have waiting for us in the fridge!

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