photography by: Paige Green Photography
A sandwich by any other name is usually still just a sandwich, unless purveyed by an understated squared-off corner establishment at Western and Webster in West Petaluma. Just heard the collective reader shout out: RAYS!! Yep, sandwich-wise, and other-wise, something is going on there that gathers a community of like-minded Petalumans on a regular basis to enjoy a pairing of dark bar camaraderie and sandwiches crafted for maximum deliciosity.
Today’s post is all about the menu at Ray’s Deli, crafted with heart by co-owners Miranda Austin and Eli Schuepbach. Recently, FIELD took a trip up the road on an El Nino-y damp spring afternoon in search of the Ray’s sandwich experience. Backed by belief in the value of consensus, we asked for the six most popular sandwiches. From the inside out, from the meat to the spreads to the creative condiments, we were served up some serious comfort food sourced obviously from ultra fresh ingredients.
Eli Schuepbech, tells us how appreciative they are of their loyal sandwich fan following. “On a busy day at lunchtime, the wait can push 30 minutes for a sandwich”, says Eli. “But instead of heading down the road to another local deli spot, where they could order a #3 and be out the door in 5 minutes, our customers say “ok, no problem” and they wait patiently.” These are sandwiches (and salads) worth waiting for so the Ray’s devotees complete the circle of mutual appreciation. And lucky for all of us, the West Petaluma sandwich love fest continues.
The Dimitri (Jacquleyn) Special:
Named after a long time employee, Dimitri, and a sandwich-invested patron, Jacquelyn, this sandwich is a result of alternately made adjustments to this now exquisite concoction. Pickled jalapeno and chimichurri sauce bring out the animal in this otherwise vegetarian sandwich.
Named after a street in West Petaluma, the Keokuk is far from your run of the mill deli turkey sandwich, and will probably prevent you from ever having one again. Roasted red pepper, cheese, pesto mayo, fresh basil and hit of cayenne make the Keokuk a turkey sandwich of a different color.
This sandwich does not stray far from its delicious original form. Which is a great move for lovers and purists of the Club Sandwich. Toasted sourdough bread and high-quality ingredients (turkey, avocado tomato, lettuce and cheese) make it an extra-delectable version. So if you like a Club Sandwich, you’ll be particularly pleased with this choice.
The Ham & Brie:
Ray’s version of a ham & brie includes Cowgirl triple cream brie, fig spread, carmelized onions, and arugula. Sounds fancy, but somehow tastes down to earth and grounded in Sonoma County simple flavors.
Ray’s has both a Reuben and a Rachel on the menu. The Rachel is my personal favorite and if I haven’t had one within a two week time frame I start to need it. It’s Miranda’s perfected house cole slaw (replaces sauerkraut on the Reuben), that makes it so delectable. So if you are both a cole slaw and pastrami fan, this is your girl.
Moving on to the Western Ave BLT…if you like a BLT, well GET HERE NOW.
FIELD tip of the day: order ahead.
Join the conversation and tell us what your favorite sandwich at Ray’s is these days:
Read more about the Ray’s community: Ray’s Regulars, where we take a look at the other half of the Ray’s phenomenon: the Tavern and the regulars who consider it a home away from home