Sometimes a chance meeting can lead to interesting results. My introduction to the Red Pepper Deli came from just such a meeting. A few weeks ago, I was buying propane for my gas grill when I started talking to another man who was doing the same thing. It turned out that he owned a deli called the Red Pepper. I’m a fan of a good delicatessen so I resolved to try it.
Although my schedule didn’t permit me to get there as soon as I would have liked, today was the perfect day to visit. The Red Pepper is located in a small strip mall on Highway 329 in the city of Crestwood, Kentucky. Crestwood neighbors Louisville on the east and since I live on the northeast side of the city, it was a short drive to Crestwood.
I arrived about 1:30 PM but still found several people eating in the deli. However, the wait was short and a very pleasant lady took my order. Their menu has all the types of things that one would expect to find in a deli. I opted for the “Ms. Madison,” a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, red onions and tomato. The sandwich was dressed with Benedictine, a popular cucumber and cream cheese spread invented in Louisville.
The sandwich came with a pickle spear (why do all deli sandwiches include a dill pickle spear?) and a bag of kettle potato chips. All sandwiches are priced at $7.25 and I ordered a drink to go with my sandwich. My lunch total was only $9.38.
Preparation of my order only took a little over five minutes, just enough time for me to connect to the free Wi-Fi that they provide. My sandwich was served in a traditional paper lined plastic basket of the kind you find in most delis. However, this sandwich took up most of the space in the tray — it was huge.
Love at First Bite
To say I was very pleased with my selection would be a gross understatement. Not all delis are alike and I’ve had sandwiches from some places called delis that didn’t deserve the name. That definitely is not the case with the Red Pepper. This establishment compares favorably with some of the best delis I’ve visited in Chicago and San Francisco.
The bread was fresh and soft, with a light wheat texture that was not overwhelming, as some whole wheat bread can be. The turkey, although it was the common deli variety rather than fresh turkey breast, was very flavorful. The Benedictine added just the right savory taste. If you have never tried Benedictine, research the recipe online. It’s easy to make and an excellent addition to any sandwich.
Since it was my first visit and I didn’t know what to expect, I had taken my Kindle reader inside with me so that I can occupy my time as I ate. But this sandwich completely reversed the order — I couldn’t wait for the next bite and the story on the Kindle had to wait.
I Shall Return
There is no doubt that the Red Pepper will now be one of my standard lunch destinations. I can easily see myself making weekly visits for the “Ms. Madison” or to try their other sandwich offerings.
The Red Pepper Deli that I visited is located at 6401 Claymont Crse # 4, in Crestwood, KY 40014. For people familiar with the area, this mini mall is located about 1/2 mile north of South Oldham High School on the east side of Highway 329.
The Red Pepper has an additional location at 103 E Main St, in La Grange, KY 40031, about 14 miles northeast of Louisville.