Beach Hut Deli in Granite Bay surfs to dining success

By: Scott Thomas Anderson, The Press Tribune
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If there was a way to literally walk into the Beach Boys’ 1988 hit song, “Kokomo,” then the Beach Hut Deli in Granite Bay would offer the doorway to do it. From the thatched roof above its Tiki bar, to its kitsch glowing palm trees, to the Volkswagen van and surfboard tabletops, the ambiance of the place is certainly good for a little escapism during the afternoon lunch hour. The Caribbean décor of its shaded outdoor seating makes it a relaxed destination for summer nights, too. While some may argue all of the Beach Hut Delis from Folsom to Roseville share the groovy good vibrations, Granite Bay has the only location within two landlocked counties that’s a seven-minute drive from an actual beach at Folsom Lake. Therefore, its environment has a slight edge on authenticity. Besides, the Granite Bay location was actually the very first installment of the ever-expanding franchise in 1981. Beach Hut Deli now includes 29 locations from Chico to Las Vegas. I recently swung through the founding establishment. Its staff was full of recommendations when it came to choosing from the sizable sandwiches on its menu. I ultimately started my lunch with The Woody, a melted monster of hot roast beef, cheddar cheese, bacon, barbecue sauce, red onions, a heaping serving of sour cream and, as a topper, Tabasco sauce. The Woody is a perfect combination of sweet flavors tempered by sharp accents and a faint but distinctive bite. It’s a wholly original taste experience. Another sandwich I decided to try was the Drakester, a hot turkey combo with plump roasted chili peppers, a heavy heap of mayo and a thin touch of pepper jack cheese, all served on toasted sourdough. While the menu describes the Drakester as being somewhat opposite of what I was given — heavy on the pepper jack and light on the mayo — the order was nevertheless enjoyable. One thing that stood out was that the Drakester is a hand-held fortress of succulently moist layers of turkey. The Ortega peppers add to it by blending spiced, phantom juices into its warm flavors, and the half-bitter smack of the sourdough serves as good topping compliment to this item. The Drakester is a good option for lunch-goers wanting a heavier taste than an offering with as much sweetmeat confection as The Woody. One customer favorite I noticed at the Granite Bay restaurant is Marley Nachos, a pile of chips under bacon, cream cheese, avocado and pepperoncini peppers. The Surfin’ Bird sandwich — a turkey, avocado, bacon and cream cheese — has also earned high marks from loyal customers, as has the Santa Barbara sandwich, which mixes avocado, cream cheese, bacon and alfalfa sprouts. Granite Bay may not be near any ocean bays, but its Beach Hut Deli can hit the taste buds right while giving you, in the words of the Beach Boys, “a tropical contact high.” Scott Thomas Anderson can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter at ScottA_RsvPT.