The sign at Perry’s Deli, located on Highway 29 in Middletown, boasts “Best Sandwich in Lake County”, so I want to see if it’s true. Great sandwiches have fresh, pillow-soft bread, layers of high-quality meat and cheese perfectly paired with fine ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, and spread. Work’s hectic; I’m starving. I walk through the doors expecting a good meal.
Perry’s Deli is currently owned by Derrick and Courtney Fiske. Derrick is a 3rd generation owner who took over from his parents in 2019. I had a chance to talk with him on the phone a few days earlier, and knew that I was in for good food. Derrick explains that his father’s motto is “quality, quality, quality.” Derrick’s grandfather, he says, is “an old-school deli guy who emphasized specific measurements.” The family is no stranger to the deli business as they opened up Novato Perry’s years ago and Middletown in 1992.
Derrick knows his sandwiches. Like #20 on Perry’s menu. It features tri-tip, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomato on a toasted soft roll. “When my friends come from out of town, I make them the #20,” Derrick says. “It’s my favorite sandwich to make.” So I order two number twenties, a number twenty-six, and a number twenty-seven. “Make a sandwich the right way, the way you want to eat it, and then others will want to eat it, too,” Derrick explains. Since I’m ordering dinner for two other people, I hope he’s right.
But there’s more to Perry’s than just sandwiches. “Perry’s is an ‘Italian Deli’ carrying products you might see in a high-end store like Olivers,” Derrick points out. “We carry the same exact Molinari Salame.” I shop for a few grab-and-go items while waiting on the sandwiches. I grab some Landjaeger Swiss Sausage Snacks, and my son talks me into buying a package of Toscano Italian Dry Salami. When I ask an employee about the Toscano Salami, I experience the “hometown vibe behind the counter” that Derrick bragged about. Perry’s Deli employees are knowledgeable and courteous.
Perusing the aisles, I notice Perry’s hot food case, so I grab a container of juicy ribs. The savory meat falls right off the bone. Additionally, I can’t resist the homemade meatballs screaming my name from the cold case. I can’t believe the affordability of this high-quality selection. Four meatballs totaled $2.04.The pricing for the value at Perry’s Deli is outstanding.
Derrick says that Perry’s Deli is “unique in the fact that it’s a small store, but we accommodate everyone.” I’m grateful that I can pick up dinner, tomorrow’s lunch, and some high-quality snacks all in one convenient, clean location.
Derrick told me earlier, that he “tries to get the freshest tri-tip possible,” so I’m not surprised when all I can hear is “mmmmm” as my fellow diners dive into their #20 sandwiches. The meat is juicy, tender, and not overcooked. It has a nice, mellow, smooth delicious taste. Lean strips of tri-tip are heavenly bits of seasoned goodness.
It all comes from the quality. “We use black label meats,” Derrick brags. “That’s where the quality comes from.” We open the #26, a roast beef sandwich with au jus dipping sauce on a toasted soft roll. “I’m not a huge fan of pre-slicing to keep it fresh,” Derrick told me proudly, and the freshness of the meat is apparent. Loaded with roast beef and cheese, it has a wonderful aroma and flavor. My son’s verdict? “All of the flavors mix well. The condiments are just right. It’s the perfect size. I give it a 10/10.”
Then I open the #27, a chicken teriyaki sandwich. A toasted soft roll cradles a tender chicken patty, teriyaki sauce, lettuce, and tomato. The dark, bold teriyaki sauce adds shiny luster and robust flavor. The chicken is soft and melts in my mouth.
Perry’s Deli is open for dine-in eating and has a pleasant outdoor seating area. Beautiful red flowers blossom on a tree near the clean, well-spaced tables, and diners enjoy a gorgeous view of surrounding mountains. Under Perry’s casual terrace, tucked on the side of their building, customers soak in an enjoyable, inviting atmosphere. Plus, it is an excellent option if you are looking to feed a crowd. “We enjoy serving large groups as we get to show off what we do” says Derrick. “Call me if you have 30 people and I’ll make you some speciality sandwiches.” Perry’s Deli is willing to personalize any order to please the customer. They recently made 28 Ranch Hands and 17 Rubens (45 sandwiches total) for a custom order.
The customer who told Derrick’s father in the 1990’s that Perry’s Deli had “the best sandwiches in Lake County” knew what he was talking about. Perry’s Deli has soft, pillowy bread, high-quality meats and cheeses, and mixes tasty layers and textures expertly so that each bite explodes with flavor. I wasn’t disappointed.
21308 Calistoga Rd A, Middletown, CA 95461
Hours: 5AM – 6PM 7 days a week