I have to be perfectly honest at the start of this review, I literally stumbled on Keller’s Deli on my way to – what I thought was Mr. Filet. I was told Mr. Filet was on 7th Avenue downtown under the Parking Ramp, which was where I went – yet I found Keller’s Deli and not Mr. Filet.
Not that I was disappointed though, since I have many a memory of eating at the orignial South Union Bread Cafe in the very same spot many years ago. The spot I am speaking of is right on the corner of 7th and Grand directly across from the Ruan Center and right next to the Boesen’s Florist. Really I could have easily have stumbled over the location as easily as I stumbled upon it since it is pretty much hidden from the skywalk. But, as I said I have been there before so I had an idea where I was going, which could have been my downfall considering I didn’t truly want to end up there.
Keller’s Deli is owned and run by Cameron Keller, who has run Keller’s Bread for some time, mostly doing catering and bringing his goods down to the Downtown Farmers Market.
The vibe in the deli was pretty even keel during my visit, there were a few people in line ordering take out and two tables occupied with downtown workers. The deli is in the same format as its predecessors, ordering is done up front and the sandwiches, or salads, are made right there before your eyes – although behind the initial counter. Some of the options on the black board behind the counter, which is also the menu, were a Reuben, Hot Ham and Cheese, Meatball, Meatloaf, Turkey Roast, and Beef and Cheddar sandwiches. I decided on the Meatball, if for no other reason the person in front of me ordered the same and I thought it sounded good. I was pleased that the person made the decision they did as I couldn’t make up my mind. I was also pleased that the Meatball Sandwich was absolutely fantstic. I took it back to work with me, which for me means walking across the street to the Des Moines Register building and taking the elevator up to my desk. I know, eating at my desk is not cool, but it was one of those days where I didn’t have the option. Anyway, the sandwich was fantastic, oh wait – I already said that. The huge meatballs were accompanied by a great marinara sauce, onions, peppers, and cheese, all on a great hoagie bun. I decided to get the bag of chips to go with the meal, Sunchips, but they ended up in one of my drawers at my desk because after I consumed the entire sandwich I had no further need to keep going because I was full!
Keller’s is a great spot to stop down if you eat lunch in the downtown area. They are very easily accessible, just an elevator ride down a floor from the skywalk or a jaunt across Locust for most downtown workers. They are quick and affordable, my sandwich and chips were only $7.50, which by downtown standards is a very inexpensive meal.
After all, why would you want to eat at a national chain when you can eat at Keller’s Deli?