Leila's Deli

By Jennifer Johnson on December 3, 2010


On the corner of East 26th and D Street directly underneath Crystal Voyage in Tacoma's Dome District, Leila's Deli has a few surprises in the form of non-standard, unexpected ingredients: arugula, grilled zucchini, fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto mayo. Even in the Pacific Northwest you just don't see that everywhere.

Another plus is a by-the-pound salad bar ($2 off Mondays) stocked with as many organic vegetables and salad toppings as owner Lucian "Lu" Lyons-Bridges can manage. Organic ingredients are also used in from-scratch soups, home-made coleslaw and potato salad, grilled Panini sandwiches, and hot or cold deli sandwiches made with Boar's Head meats and cheeses. Brats in buns, all beef hot dogs, chilidogs, vegetarian items, personal pizzas (pepperoni, cheese, veggie), gluten-free baked goods from Granny LaLa's and desserts are also offered. Get pizza and beer for only $7 from 4-6 p.m.

Leila's opens early at 8 a.m. daily except Sundays, with breakfast sandwiches, quiche, bagels, rotating freshly baked pastries and fruit smoothies served. I'm not suggesting homemade pie or cookies before noon, but they've got them too if you want them. Complete box lunches are available, but they won't be served in Styrofoam; Leila's is committed to only using biodegradable or recyclable containers, cups, utensils, plates and napkins.

[Leila's Deli, 402 E. 26th St., Tacoma 253.627.8213, www.tacomadeli.com]