Needing a quick bite to eat after a visit to the Charleston Aquarium to see the not outstanding Penguin Exhibit (three Magellanic Penguins looking very bored and in too small of a room), Chas* and I stopped at Charleston's East Bay Deli. Busy but fairly quick, East Bay offers a slew of sandwiches and wraps, a few salads, giant spuds and three major desserts, a five-layer chocolate cake, a five-layer carrot cake and a cheese cake that had to be two inches tall. Had I not been going out for a great dinner, I would have ordered dessert for lunch! Back to reality, I selected the Portabella Mushroom Wrap and Chas* ordered the Chef's Salad. The wrap was good, but the Swiss cheese was not melted as the menu states and the wrap itself should have been heated. That would have made it really good. The chips were ruffles and that was fine and the pickle was fresh. For Chas, meat salad would have been a more appropriate name for his meal. I have never seen a salad with that much turkey and ham on it. He noted the meat but was not dissatisfied with his choice. After all, it was a salad, right (channeling the Real Men of Genius 'Taco Salad' commercial - 10,000 calories but its still a salad!). Because I could not have the cake, I had to have a blonde brownie, which was a little dry. I guess that is what I get for succumbing to impulse. The cake is better...I am certain.
The decor is deli, black and white tile floors, big meat display counter and servers and line cooks in action. Lots of College of Charleston students already gearing up for the upcoming school year and a good number of families catching a meal before their next Saturday activity, East Bay has a nice hustle and bustle and prices are pretty reasonable. I would dine there again, but just ask for my wrap heated and of course, order the chocolate cake.
East Bay Deli is located at 334 E Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401. Just walk on in.