At the corner or Richmond and Mid Lane sits an unassuming establishment called Nielsens Deli. I had driven by this place countless times since moving to Houston, but never thought about stopping by, I imagined it was just a deli selling deli meats. Recently, a good friend invited me out for a quick lunch promising me I would have the best potato salad and deviled eggs EVAH! Off to Nielsens we went.
As you walk into the stand-alone building, you’ll come into a long narrow room, the deli counter will be just a couple of feet and directly across from the front door, that’s where you place your order, unless you’ve called it in. Turn right and to the opposite end of the room, pick up some chips and pay for your order. If you’re dining in, you can grab one of the stools lined up against the storefront glass. If you’re feeling particularly playful, tease the incoming customers as they come up to the counter.
Ok, this is a food blog, right? Let’s talk shop. First, I was tickled by the lingo I heard as I approached the counter. The customers, regulars no doubt, have learned how to properly order their meals: ‘a Jr Corned beef, extra spread on rye and a pixie potato salad‘. It made me think of a kinder, gentler soup Nazi.
I’m not a big sandwich person, it just doesn’t seem like a meal, but these sandwiches are awesome! I had the corned beef on white with extra spread (they make their own mayo…OHMY!), an egg and a pixie of egg salad. Let me tell you, this corned beef was good and piled high on the homemade bread. No skimping here.
Anni had the turkey on white, extra spread an egg and a pixie of potato salad. I had a bite of her turkey and was surprised by how flavorful it was. They’ve been roasting their own turkey breasts since the deli opened in 1952, I think they have it down.
Now. For the really exciting part. Those sides. I love potato salad, but not the mustardy kind and not with a bunch of stuff in it. KISS (keep it simple, sweetie) is my motto. And KISS it they do. Loads of their amazing homemade mayo, piled with eggs and celery for some crunch, this potato salad ROCKS! It is so good that years ago Gourmet magazine sent a letter requesting their recipe!
Then we go into the deviled egg territory. Insanity, that is all I can say about it. Next time I go, I will have the chicken salad sandwich, apparently it is incredible. And I believe it, because I had a pixie of the egg salad… it was as if they just chopped the deviled eggs and stirred it all up.
If you’re from Houston, you should definitely visit this Houston institution, do it soon! It’s just inside the loop at Richmond. If you’re coming to Houston for a visit, put this one on the list.
Nielsen’s Deli (daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m)
4500 Richmond Avenue