George Street Eatery Gaining Quick Reputation For Eclectic Menu in Downtown Charleston
Jeff Walker, Food & Beverage Writer
Open less than three months, Legend Deli at 41-A George Street has already become, wait for it... 'LEGENDARY!'. It didn't hurt that the breakfast, lunch, and early dinner eatery opened while the College of Charleston were still enjoying the Spring 2023 school term, with students and faculty as well as shoppers and business owners up and down King Street dropping in, not only because Legend was the new kid on the block, but patrons soon discovered their deli sandwiches were freakin' amazing.
Let's let the cat (not on the menu) out of the bag right away. Legend Deli is not your grandfather's sandwich shop. If you haven't been there yet imagine a a deli where run of the mill takes a back seat and fun sandwiches have their foot on the gas pedal. From the combined creative genius of owner Chaz Wendel (formerly of Charleston Crab House) and Tyler Hunt (sous chef at Husk) Legend Deli serve up a dozen or more signature sandwiches alongside Greens & Things (salads &more) for non meat lovers (God forbid) and self professed vegans.
Open at 7:30am Monday thru Saturday Legend serve up four 'wake up the palate' early morning edibles including the Steamed Bagel Sammie (irreverent term for sandwich) teeming with your favorite breakfast meat (ham, bacon, or sausage) layered under eggs and a heaping slather of cream cheese on a moist yet chewy bagel. If you're feeling a bit urbane at 8am than maybe opt for the Ricotta Toast, simply put a smattering of whipped ricotta with a swirl of fresh berries, basil, lemon, and local honey on sourdough bread. Delightful!
While early risers file through Legend Deli at a steady pace, it is the midday lunch crowd that keep Chaz, Tyler, and the staff busy. Legend Deli thinks outside the bun, outside the roll, and frankly outside the norm.
Several of their signature sandwiches reflect standard deli makeup, but it is their quality ingredients (Boars Head meats & cheeses), presentation, and extra added panache that make Legend Deli sandwiches a cut above. And hell yeah, being in the south Legend Deli spread only Duke's Mayonnaise on whatever wich, sub, or wrap you order! Keeping it extra local all their bread comes from Normandy Farm Artisan Bakery over in West Ashley with their produce coming from Limehouse.
For a straight up $15 you can chow down on The 'G.O.A.T.' (Great Overly Awesome Tasting), easily their most popular sandwich at Legend. Sink your teeth and gums into seasoned black pepper turkey piled high on sourdough bread blanketed under whipped goat cheese, onion jam, arugula and roasted red pepper mayo (Dukes). A flavorful combo that requires a couple extra napkins.
'The Legend of Shia Le Beouf' is a welcome and succulent sandwich. Ask Chaz about the story behind the name. If he's not busy Chaz loves to work the room. Ringing in at $15 the Shia overflows with moist roast beef and red wine braised onions surrounded by arugula and creamy horseradish under provolone served on a fresh hoagie roll, and complete with roasted garlic au jus (natural beef juice).
The Jabroni has been rising to the top of the sandwich charts at Legend. Basically their take on an Italian sub. It begins with a soft hoagie piled high with tavern ham, sopressata ( Italian dry salami) before being adorned with whipped ricotta, tomato, onion, pepper relish, and shrettuce (shredded lettuce), made extra moist with house vinaigrette. A legendary sandwich right out of the deli gate.
Honestly you can't go wrong with anything you order on the menu whether it's the Reuben Feffer (old school Reuben w/ Ukrainian dressing) or the 'B.E.C.' aka beef Bologna, fried Egg, and American Cheese, spiced up with pickled jalapenos, a slather or Duke's on a seeded bun.
Feeling adventurous for breakfast or lunch yet can't decide, then let Legend 'Rain The Funk', whereas Chaz or Tyler sense your hunger vibe and choose your incredible edible for you. No mystery meat, just a freakin' amazing sandwich, wrap or salad. Trust them, they're 'deli professionals'. Just $6 for breakfast and $14 for lunch.
Two sandwiches not currently advertised on their regular menu but offered on a semi-regular basis, and perhaps throughout the summer are the 'Bangin' BLT' (applewood bacon, Heirloom tomato, lettuce on grilled sourdough) and the 'The Moist' aka a reverse grilled cheese sandwich, whereas Duke's Mayo and white & yellow cheddar are layered on sourdough with the bread dipped in Heirloom tomato soup before grilled. It's 'Souper-Duper'!
Both the Bangin' BLT and The Moist will be on display when Duke's comes to Charleston to celebrate their annual Duke’s Hot Tomato Summer, a weeklong celebration that serves mayo and tomato dishes in partnership with restaurants! Several local eateries will be competing. Can Legend Deli become extra legendary with the help of 'the official mayo of the south'. Magic 8 Ball says all signs point to YES!
What good is an awesome sandwich without a cold beverage to wash it down. Legend carry Coke products as well as hard seltzers and beers from local and regional breweries including Rusty Bull, Palmetto, and Lo-Fi. IPAs are the current rage. Word on the street Legend Deli will soon have a selection of wines. Want to do something eccentric, maybe enjoy a refreshing lite-bite with that something special. Pop in and leave with one of their pre-packaged Boar's Head charcuterie meals, and be sure to check out their bohemian style mural.
Legend Deli has a lot to offer the eclectic sandwich lover, and as I've previously written about they have an awesome 'You Shall Not Smashburger'. With subs and sandwiches named 'Sweet Baby Jesus' (shredded sweet potato & Cheerwine), 'Up to No Gouda' and 'In Da Club Sub', Legend Deli is a unique eatery where sandwiches become legends. Find them just a half block off King Street at 41-A George Street, basically across from Sottile Theatre. Want to learn more visit https://legenddeli.com/