It was a chill December day and the homemade soups Bridgeside Deli and Grille advertises on its Facebook page inspired me to walk across town and over the Veterans Memorial Gay Street Bridge.
Once across the bridge, simply make a left at the traffic light intersection of Franklin Avenue and High Street and you’ll find the deli. It’s a small place with a freezer case of ice cream next to the door, refrigerated cases full of beverages to the right and chips, Tastykakes and specialty Greek and Italian items on the shelves to the left. A television is perched on top of the refrigerated cases so the cook, and those waiting to pick up their orders, have something to watch.
Bright yellow menus are available in the back of the store, where you place your order. Based on my visit, most people call in their orders, which are from all over the five columns of breakfast sandwiches, salads, club sandwiches, hoagies, steak sandwiches, burgers, Greek Gryros, wraps, grilled sandwiches and deli classics listed on the menu. Delivery is also available for those who don’t have time to pick up their order.
From the day’s soups I picked the Broccoli and Cheese and the Chicken Noodle ($3.45 each for the large). I grew up with Greek neighbors so I ordered a Gyro Platter ($9.50) and grabbed a can of stuffed grape leaves imported from Greece for later. For my husband, I ordered a Deli Classic of Homemade Roast Pork with Broccoli Raab and Sharp Provolone ($7.75).
While there are tables outside the deli in summer, in cold weather, Bridgeside is all take-out and they package their orders like the experts they are. I was given two easy-to-carry bags that nestled my food perfectly so that even with the long walk home, none of the food spilled and the soups were still piping hot when my husband came home for lunch.
Not only were the soups hot, they were filled with vegetables. The Chicken Noodle Soup contained wide egg noodles, carrot, celery, onion, peas and corn. I like my recipe better (who doesn’t when it comes to Chicken Noodle Soup?) but if I couldn’t make my version, I’d order this one. The Broccoli and Cheese Soup was as good or better than what I make myself—it was thick with broccoli and potato and had pleasant cheesy topnotes.
My husband appreciated his Pork Sandwich which had ample cheese and stalks of real Broccoli Raab, which many shops outside of Philly don’t bother with or substitute spinach, which isn’t the same vegetable at all!
However, the best value and the best tasting meal was my Gyro Platter which contained a tasty gyro (slices of spit-roasted beef and lamb with lettuce, tomato, onion and Tzatziki [yogurt-cucumber] sauce served on a folded pita), a huge mound of average-tasting crinkle-cut French fries and a fabulous “small” Greek Salad.
While the Gyro reminded me of the ones I had at street fairs as a child in Pittsburgh, it was the Greek Salad that was the star of the meal. It was packed with tomato, onion, sliced cucumber, green pepper pieces, multiple Kalamata olives, four Pepperoncini (pickled) peppers, a nice chunk of Feta cheese, well-doused with olive oil, vinegar and oregano and had no more than one-third its volume in lettuce.
A “stand-alone” large Greek Salad is $7.25 at Bridgeside and worth every penny. I haven’t had a better one since I was a Drexel grad student who lived at the lunch truck run by Greek immigrants who were thrilled they could always keep the anchovies in my orders.
If you spend a lot of time on the north side, it’s worth your while to keep Bridgeside Deli and Grille’s phone number on your cell phone to call in an order whenever you’re hungry. There’s plenty of variety in those five columns of food offerings to keep you well-fed and satisfied, regardless of the type of sandwich you’re hankering for.
If You Go:
Location: 402 West High St., Phoenixville
Cost: Sandwiches: $2.50 to $7.75, Salads: $4.45 to $8.75
Phone: 610-933-7737 (Call ahead encouraged)
Hours: Monday through Wednesday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday and Friday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Payments accepted: Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Parking: On-street parking