Hopkins - Everything a Deli Should Be

In my opinion, there are just 3 components that make up a good deli:

  1. Fresh Ingredients
  2. Inventive Combinations
  3. A little bit of chaos
Hopkins Eatery happens to have all three. I don't know how they do it, because they have about a GAZILLION ingredients, but they are all fresh! And I'm talking straight off the vine, fresh from the oven, direct from the farm FRESH. From sweet peppers to toasted walnuts and artichoke hearts to crispy bacon - even alfalfa sprouts and sun dried tomatoes, their ingredients are bananas (oh yeah, and they have those too)! If you're looking for wilted lettuce, sour tomatoes or slimy lunch meat - first of all, who the heck are you?? You need your noggin checked!!! And second of all, you won't find any of that no-good nonsense at Hopkins.

Plus, I absolutely love the creativity that they use to come up with their menu items! Their sandwiches boast names like The Picnic, The Guac, Zorba, Black Bird, The Spin and The Hummer (it's hummus, turkey, feta, black olives, tomato, onion and lettuce served on rye-pumpernickel with mayo and house dressing - so get your minds out of the gutter people!). And their salads include interesting offerings like the Chicken Tetrazzini, Tuna and Tabouli and Walnut Gorgonzola Salads. Heck - even the breads that they serve their sandwiches on are out of the ordinary - things like Poppy Seed Rolls, Onion Rolls and Pumpernickel Rolls are sure to spice up any sandwich! Cause there's nothing worse than a boring ham and cheese on white bread is there, people? No. That's right. No.

Now, I'm sticking to my guns on #3. I've never been to a spectacular deli that wasn't it's own breed of crazy. Stand in this line! Order at the counter! Wait till we call your number! NO substitutions! Fight to grab a seat! Get your own drink! Order up! I love the hectic energy that comes with a packed place hungry for delicious food. Put a different way - if you walk into a deli and no one is screaming - RUN! There's an old truth that there is beauty in chaos, and it's never more apparent than at a superb deli.

At Hopkins, the chaos is as follows: you stand in line, place your order, grab your cup, get your drink, snag a seat, wait for your name to be called, pick up your order and dig in. The slew of names being shouted from behind the counter let you know that you're eating at a place that's in high demand. JAMIE! BOB! DIANE! RYAN! KATIE! CHELSEA! SAM! MARY! BUSTER! (Seriously, whose name is Buster??)

On this day, a friend and I traded the hubub of the office for the hubub of the deli. We both ordered salads - she picked a Mini Chef's Salad with the house Parmesan Italian Dressing and I chose the Hopkins Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing. My friend had the right idea ordering the mini, because their portion sizes are off the charts!!! But I absolutely love the cobb salad, and it only comes in a regular size, so I had to do battle with the enormity of it. I'm not ashamed to admit that it always defeats me, but I always put up a good fight!

Her Chef's Salad included lettuce, tomato, carrots, bell pepper, ham, turkey, mozzarella, cheddar cheese, onion and alfalfa sprouts. I'm sure I don't have to tell you again - but all the ingredients were delightfully crisp and fresh and the homemade Parmesan Italian dressing provided a nice tart and tangy kick. My Cobb Salad was made with lettuce, grilled chicken, crumbled bacon, boiled egg, artichoke hearts, tomato, gorgonzola cheese and croutons (I had them hold the onions). I know most people like to do a Cobb with ranch or blue cheese dressing, but honey mustard is my drug of choice. I think the sweetness of the dressing evens out all the saltiness of the various ingredients in the salad. The crispy bacon and seasoned croutons are my favorite parts of this salad - they provide a bit of flavorful, crunchy texture to the dish. Oh - and the artichoke hearts! You don't see them too often on a Cobb, and I like the little zippiness that they bring.

Please, for your own health, check out Hopkins today! If only to hear your name shouted across the restaurant and feel that little flutter in your stomach from knowing that you're about to consume something ridiculously good. JOHN!

Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - B
Taste - A
Presentation - B+
Service - N/A (there's no table service here)
Price - $

Restaurant Info:
Hopkins Eatery
1415 Market Street
Tallahassee FL 32312
Website Link

Hopkins Eatery on Urbanspoon


Sammy July 16, 2010 at 10:36 AM  

I love Hopkins! They have the best sweet tea, it has just the right hint of mint. My favorite is the Chicken Tetrazzini salad and the Cordon Bleu Sandwich YUM! :)

About this blog

This blog is dedicated to giving you honest reviews of local restaurants in Tallahassee and the surrounding area. I won't hold any punches, you'll hear about it all - the good, the bad and the (hopefully infrequent) inedible!

This blog was written from July 2009 - August 2010 and is now retired. I currently live in Sarasota, FL...stay tuned for more on my adventures there!