My friends and I love food. That is a given. I eat out with them a lot, sometimes one on one, sometimes, in a group. Then, I have two girlfriends I get together with from time to time, although lately, we’ve been getting together a lot more than usual, which is always a wonderful thing.
For our last get together, we decided to have brunch at the newly opened C4 Deli: Cure for the Common in downtown Santa Ana, owned by the same people who own Chapter One: The Modern Local across the street. The first thing which struck me was how absolutely delightful the decor and design is.
We were a little too early for the lunch time sandwiches, so we decided to start with some breakfast items. Smorrebrod ($5.49), a Norwegian style open face sandwich with egg, bacon and sauteed broccoli rabe is served on rye. The runny egg makes this one of the most delicious breakfast sandwiches I’ve had in a long time.
My friend orders the CA Breakfast Burrito! ($5.99), but I, not being a fan of burritos was not feeling so excited about it. Much to my surprise, I actually really liked it. The filling of corned beef, hash, eggs, potatoes, cheddar and chipotle aioli created a complete flavor profile which allowed for great textures and the right amount of saltiness to make it work.
If you’re a coffee drinker, make sure you order some, they bring you individual servings in a French press!
B.E.L.T ($5.99) bacon, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, aioli on squaw was unfortunately, very pedestrian especially with the use of iceberg lettuce. Exchanging it for bibb or red leaf lettuce would make a huge difference to the final product.
I wanted to try one of the sausages since they are made in-house and there are two to choose from, a Bratwurst and Italian sausage ($6.49) comprising fennel. Unfortunately, I didn’t care for the sausage at all. The texture was mushy and liver-like and highly unappealing. I’m not sure if the Bratwurst would have been better since I don’t particularly enjoy coarse ground sausages.
But what I came here for was the Porchetta ($7.99). I remember eating the best porchetta sliders in New York and wanted to relive that experience. Sadly, the porchetta was very disappointing, not in flavor (which was spot on), but in the mouthfeel effect. The outside crispy parts was not crispy at all. I understand that it was not out of the oven that morning, but warming it back up in the oven would have been more appropriate rather than perhaps the microwave? The texture was like bacon cooked in the microwave with the fatty bits not crunchy but on the rubbery side. I was sad.
Our final sandwich was the Pastrami ($8.99) on rye, which redeemed the last two underwhelming selections. The pastrami was wonderfully seasoned and nicely textured. My only complaint would be that it could have been a little bigger. Otherwise, a very delicious sandwich indeed!
The portions here are not large by any means as you can tell by the amount we ordered, we managed to eat everything albeit half the pastrami and the sausage which we left behind. For a new establishment it is decent enough and perhaps with a few more months, the kinks would have worked themselves out and everything will be up to standard — well, my standard anyway!
C4 Deli: Cure for the Common
200 N Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701