Our favorite deli sides and salads
The Fourth of Julyis coming in just a few days. It conjures up images of grilling burgers and dogs, beers on the lawn, and very loud fireworks. There is also the whole Declaration of Independence thing, but we can remember that best by our own personal pursuits of happiness, that is barbecues included, of course. Barbecues, however, have very little need for sandwiches, besides the pulled pork sandwich and the two slices of white bread they give you at barbecue places. Luckily, there are the side dishes, many of which are common between delis and BBQs. Potato salads, macaroni and other pasta salads, various cabbage slaws, and even potato chips.
So, what is the skinny on these fab deli sides? Potato salad can come mayo or mustard based, sometimes in Austria people will dress their potato salad with just oil and vinegar and a few herbs and spices. Macaroni salad is usually made with mayo and finely chopped veggies, but it really is only a small member of the larger pasta salad family. Coleslaws are usually made from either red or green cabbage with mayo or vinegar, and sometimes both. I think potato chips don’t need an explanation; they are thin, salty, crispy. Everyone knows potato chips, am I wrong to assume that?
Everyone has their favorite when it comes to deli sides. My favorite is potato salad with lots of hard-boiled egg and celery with a mix of both mayo and mustard. I like when potato salad is made with whole grain mustard, since you get those bites with the whole mustard seed, and they pop with an explosion of complex flavor. My second choice wouldn’t be macaroni salad, but a good Mediterranean pasta salad, loaded with fresh parsley, salami, olives, and feta cheese. However, if the macaroni salad served with a Hawaiian Plate Lunch were on the table, I would place that snugly in second place also. Potato chips are in third place. They’re good. I like them. They are crispy, crunchy, salty, full of flavor, but they are everyday foods. I can just walk for a few minutes to the corner store to pick up four bags right now, and then: boom- no more potato chip craving. Potato salad, macaroni salad, you have these during a barbecue or picnic. Sure, you can make and eat potato salad whenever you want, but really there is a time and a place where certain foods shine, and the picnic/barbecue is potato salad’s time and place.
Fourth is coleslaw, and that is only because I don’t have a lower ranking to give it. Never liked relish and never liked coleslaw; they are both way too sweet for me to eat alongside a savory lunch. Cabbage slaws can have their place, like on a Louisiana Po Boy, but that technically is just shredded cabbage with some mayo on it. Red cabbage slaws can be good if dressed with just some oil and vinegar, maybe a little honey or sugar to round everything out. Well, there is a little impromptu listing of my own personal deli side power ranking. Potato salad is definitely my pick for favorite, well picnic side really, which is a far cry from a barbecue in so far as what the main food is, but honestly, it doesn’t matter how you enjoy them, since the real focus is being together with friends and family to celebrate your time together. But not around coleslaw.