(Her) I ventured out by myself into the big city of Milwaukee again and before I left home I quickly googled “lunch Milwaukee” to see if there was anything interesting. Koppa’s FulBeli Deli located on Milwaukee’s East Side stood out for some reason….people were raving about how they crave their sandwiches and eat there once a week, etc. More than just a cute name, the place prides itself in kitsch and I imagine that if you aren’t old enough to remember old neighborhood grocery stores like this used to be everywhere, then you’d probably think it was even cooler. They do house an old Atari 2600 that you can play in the back by the deli and an abundance of hipsters at the counter so that probably qualifies them as cool. If you like hipsters lack of eye contact, acknowledgement, or customer service than this place is for you. No really, when I approached the registers to pay for my stuff, I had to clear my throat to get the old lady’s attention because she was too busy bent at a 45 degree angle hand to chin staring out the front window.
All the sandwiches have goofy names which I guess is cute although not entirely unique, so I ordered an Oogle-Nogle which turns out to be a roast beef and swiss on toasted wheat bread. Everything is very reasonably priced and I imagine if they were in a more trendy neighborhood they could get away with charging more, but they don’t and that’s cool. There are at least twenty different sandwiches in different styles (grilled, panini, homestyle, etc) so you shouldn’t have any problem there. There are also pasta salads, fruit, chips, hummus, a huge beverage cooler as well as whatever the grocery store has to offer so you really shouldn’t have any problems finding sides to go with your meal before you leave. I recommend grabbing a local soda like a Sprecher. Oh yeah, you will have to leave…there’s really no place to sit other than a few chairs inside and outside but I’m not really downgrading the place for that…they are after all, just a deli.
Anyway, long story short I took my $5.69 sandwich to the park to eat and was really pleasantly surprised. The meat was piled high and was tasty and the other ingredients were high quality as well. (No iceberg lettuce here, thankfully) I appreciated the perfect ratio of bread, meat, and mayo so that the sandwich wasn’t dry and it wasn’t sliding all over the place either. I also was happy to see the wedge of pickle and the candy surprises that came wrapped up with the sandwich. While I can’t say that if I lived in Milwaukee I would crave these sandwiches once a week, I have always wished that local deli’s like these would make a comeback. I happen to think it’s a nice change of pace from all the cookie cutter franchised sub shops serving up subpar ingredients between two pieces of cardboard that people have become accustomed to.
Ambience: 8.932…..Value 8.756….Customer Service 4.651 ( a simple “hello” would have boosted this score by at least 3 points)