Finding a good spot to eat is hard. Finding a good spot to eat while juggling classes, clubs and other involvement on campus is even harder. But there are hidden gems found across Long Beach if one is willing to look.
Beach City Deli & BBQ is one of those gems.
The restaurant was founded in 2001 at an original location in San Pedro, but was forced to close six years later due to complications with the new owners and management of that time, which drove the guests away.
This is when the eatery moved to a new spot in Long Beach at a small shopping plaza on Clark Avenue and East Atherton Street.
The restaurant is less than two blocks from campus which makes it a very accessible place to eat if you’re is starting your journey from there, and a short ride on the Long Beach Transit bus 121 will drop you off right across the street from the restaurant. This convenience makes it the perfect place to try.
Such a great place can only be worked by great people and the sandwich chefs led by their manager, Roland Schmiv III, live up to their reputation.
“I met the owner through a friend of mine in culinary school and just worked my tail off to get to where I am,” Schmiv III said.
He built his food preparation experience at a grocery store job as a teenager, where he worked as a butcher preparing meats and learning to prepare several different cuts. He gained a fascination and passion for food so by the end of his days working as a butcher in the deli, Schmiv III took his newfound passion further and attended the Los Angeles Harbor College Culinary Arts Program when he was 27-years-old.
This was where Schmiv III met the owner of the shop, Mark McKim. The chef’s work ethic and skills with food was what caught the owner’s attention. He later took a position at the San Pedro location, where he implemented his own experience into improving the food and creating new meals.
Beach City Deli & BBQ is not only known for its sandwiches, but also for its barbecue. The store sees a constant demand for barbecue ribs, brisket and sides like its potato and macaroni salad. Much of their menu items come from original, homemade recipes from McKinn’s background growing up in Pennsylvania. Delis were a common sight for McKim growing up so as he picked up on his food passion, he used his own creativity to create new dishes.
And speaking of the food, every visit paid to Beach City Deli & BBQ is guaranteed to be a delicious one. I’ve visited the restaurant multiple times over this past year trying a new sandwich each time, finding each dish prepared to perfection. Aside from your usual pastramis, italians and BLTs, my recommendations are the Big Kahuna and the Monte Cristo.
The Big Kahuna is a delicious layering of pork loin, ham, swiss-american cheese, pineapple and their signature Kahuna Sauce. This was my first sandwich from the deli and it was love at first bite. The flavor falls on the tongue so smoothly with the pineapple and the sauce begs for another bite of sandwich.
The Monte Cristo is another “wow” sandwich. Served with ham, turkey, swiss cheese and their Raspberry Chipotle sauce that has a very distinct, sweet and peppery taste to it.
Beach City Deli & BBQ is a great spot if you are looking for a good sandwich. Subway is a solid option when on campus, but it just doesn’t compare to the work done at this unique shop. The staff are all friendly, sociable people so a good sandwich, good conversation and good time are all guaranteed. I passionately recommend it for anyone near or on campus.