By Dr. Ink
In the handful of years Rubicon Deli has operated a branch on north India Street, it never dawned on me the Nevada-based sandwich shop offers happy hour. Thanks to a friend who clued me, I got to experience one of the best beer-and-sandwich deals in town.
The company is known for layering fresh ingredients into whole loaves of house-baked bread, which includes everything under the sun, including Dutch crunch, garlic-cheese, jalapeno-jack, wheat, pesto and more. During past visits, I’ve sunk my choppers into a variety of different creations. Nearly every one of them had the kind of mom-and-pop soul I’ve encountered at other Uptown delis such as Big Front Door and the Deli Llama.
During happy hour, however, the sandwich choices are limited to five “snappy sliders.” Just like beer by the glass, they are $4 each. Although if you’re ravenous, you can buy three sliders for $10.
But “sliders” is a misnomer. These are more like junior sandwiches that offer multiple bites and occupy a fair chunk of real estate in your stomach after you wolf one down.
Your bread choices during this time are either Dutch crunch or garlic-cheese. I chose the latter for a Buffalo-style chicken sandwich brimming with shredded lettuce, fat-sliced pickles and cilantro-jalapeno ranch dressing. The chicken came in small, fried pieces, much like popcorn shrimp. They were generously layered into the bread and lightly coated in tangy Buffalo sauce.
The delicious combo of flavors called for an icy glass of Chronic Ale by Pizza Port Brewing Company. Other tap choices included Stone Delicious IPA (been there, done that), White Rascal Witbier by Avery Brewing (too yeasty for my mood), and Honcho Hefeweizen by Mother Earth (best enjoyed in cooler weather).
The light, dry finish and faint toffee notes of the Chronic Ale was a perfect come-on to the spiciness of the sandwich. Served with a moderately foamy head, it sported just the right amount of creaminess as to not compete with the sandie, which included a little bag of waffle-cut potato chips and a petite chocolate chip cookie.
My total bill with tax was just over $8.
Rubicon’s interior features a unique, elongated space that begins at the order counter and then runs along a food-prep area, hiding a small elevator to an upstairs kitchen. Beyond that is a dining area replete with large red-vinyl booths, a heavy-wood communal table and some window-ledge seating. On this hot afternoon, the air conditioning was running full throttle — and it felt oh-so good.
Other sandwich choices — should you attempt the $10 trio — include a po’boy with grilled chipotle chicken; the mini “Ma’am” featuring beef brisket, pineapple, coleslaw and blue cheese; and “The Cheesy Bit” with colby-jack, bacon, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo. Based on my pairing, I’m guessing beer of any type is a best friend to all of them.