This bright deli, with clean white walls and spotless carpets is a museum of sorts; housing a collection of railroad advertising posters, oil cans, lanterns, and even a small cast iron caboose stove, c. 1915. Thomas the Tank Engine pulled a circus car around the layout of a small town. These G-gauge, or garden-sized collectibles are large; their scale 1/20 to 1/32 of the real thing. The layout with its expertly made scenery takes up more than 500 square feet.
I ordered my sandwich at the counter and took a seat trackside on a wooden bench reminiscent of those in a train station waiting room. A train travel documentary played on the big screen television, the soft clickety-clack of the wheels made me feel like I was on board.
The Reuben Sandwich ($7.85) was served with a fork for good reason. Pink pastrami fell from between the slices of large, toasted, caraway-studded bread, which was spread with tangy dressing. This was a two-hand sandwich. Its crisp, sour white cabbage sauerkraut and the sheet of soft Swiss cheese played nicely with the well-seasoned meat.
Kids’ meals ($4 to $5.75) include sandwiches, burgers, dogs, chicken strips, and even macaroni and cheese. Each comes with chips, a kid-sized soda and a cookie. The Train Place Deli is the ideal location for a birthday party or end-of-the-season celebration.
The Train Place Deli, 1820-F 41st Ave., Capitola, 475-0150. Open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Sundays. Visit trainplacedeli.com.
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