Founded in 1977, Paul’s Deli has been feeding hungry mouths for over 35 years. Welcoming families, students and visitors 365 days a year.
Paul’s Deli. Not the kind of deli where you can order slices of liverwurst by the pound and walk happily away. Although I guess you CAN just order a sandwich and give the undesired bread and toppings to a carb-starving human, but you know what I mean. It’s a restaurant.
Not always though…
Paul’s Deli actually received it’s name because it WAS one of those liverwurst slicing establishments many years ago. And the owner’s name was, yep, you guessed it, Bill. I mean Paul. Two brothers from a far away land (known as Connecticut) came to Williamsburg and bought the deli from Paul, kept the name and turned it into what it is today. A deli/restaurant/whatever specializing in Italian and Greek food as well as DELIcious (sorry) sandwiches and subs. No liverwurst though. Man.
Once you walk in, you immediately see the bajillions of photos and sports memorabilia on the walls. You wonder if there really are in fact any walls or if its just the photos keeping the building up. The character and history of the place starts to soak in your skin as you imagine the many years of sports-related cheering that has happened here. It’s directly across from the William and Mary Football stadium and established as one of THE places to go before and after a game. It’s personally one of my favorite go-to’s in Williamsburg to watch a game.
You have the choice of ordering straight from the counter or sitting down and letting a waiter serve you. This is a great option, and a good example of the the two-sided nature of Paul’s Deli. It’s a restaurant, but also a deli. You can order quickly from the counter, or sit down and be waited upon. You can watch and cheer for your favorite sports team, or have a nice quiet dinner with your family. The best of both worlds, just no liverwurst.
Their menu, as I stated earlier, consists mostly of Italian, Greek and Sandwich fare. Everything is homemade and served in HUMONGOUS portions (we had leftovers for a week). The first thing I tried (this time it was only me (Eddie), as Mindy’s pregnant and right now just the thought of food makes her queasy) was the Aji Blackened Tuna Caesar Salad. A nice big slab of blackened local tuna plopped on top of a garden of greens and surrounded by big chunks of tomato. The flavor in the seasoning and the dressing was very nice. Next, they brought the Shrimp and Scallops Marinara. Loaded with Shrimp, Scallops, Mussels and Clams on top of angel-hair pasta. It’s unbelievable the amount of seafood they give. It was a huge plate of briny goodness. I tried one of their pizzas next. It was a New England style pan pizza with very tasty homemade dough and a number of toppings. They really take pride in their dough. As I stated, it’s homemade and distinct to their Connecticut roots. Connecticut is known nationwide as one of the best pizza regions in the country. I’m glad we get a taste of that down here. I was then brought a loaf of Focaccia Bread. Normally, I wouldn’t comment on bread. But this was crazy good bread. Again, they utilized their own Connecticut flavored homemade dough. And what came out of the oven was a soft on the inside, yet salty, buttery and golden brown of a crunchy crust on the outside loaf of herb-y Focaccia Bread. This one was going to no carb-starving human besides me. Then came one of the most popular sub sandwiches in Williamsburg. The Holly. You can order The Holly in a number of restaurants in Williamsburg, but this is where it originated. It was named after a server many years ago. It’s a fantastic sub with roast beef, turkey, bacon, american cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and pickles wrapped around in their house bread. This is just one of their many “named” subs though. They have a chalkboard size menu offering what seems like an endless array of sub sandwiches to fit whatever combination you are craving at the moment. After a really good gyro and a crater-sized bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, they brought me a couple of chocolate cannoli’s and a nice big scrumptious slice of carrot cake. I was happy. And full. Very full.
An extra note…
Across the street from Paul’s Deli, is an extension of their restaurant called “The College Delly”. It has the same menu, but a slightly different atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating.
Eddie’s Favorite Thing: I know it’s strange to say, but it really was the Focaccia Bread. It was just so good.
What Eddie would like to try next time: Liverwur… oh right, forgot. One of their stromboli’s. They’ve got a ton of different kinds. And I’d like to try at least one.