Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shalom Convoy: Convoy Market & Deli

Aaron's Eatzz is out but a new shop has opened up in the tiny storefront on Convoy at Balboa in Kearny Mesa. Convoy Market & Deli is a sandwich shop/grocery/liquor store combo that is not the glatt kosher haven for the local Jewish and Israeli community but still a good resource to get kosher products hard to find elsewhere.

The owners, Rafe Potres, an Iraqi, and his wife Shirley Tajedini, a Persian Jew, used to own a liquor store in Lakeside. Potres had hoped to begin introducing himself to the Aaron's clientele before the shop closed, but that wasn't possible, so now he's very enthusiastically introducing his new place to longtime customers who, he says, can still place special orders for items they need, like challah or kosher brisket, an ideal set up before major holidays.

Potres and Tajedini bought the remainder of Aaron's Eatzz inventory, so you'll find shelves laden with Sadaf and Zergut products such as olives, pickles, green tomatoes and vegetable spreads. There are boxes of couscous mixes, matzoh, canned vegetables, sardines, packaged spices and even marmite. In the freezers are cheese blintzes, Cornish game hens, gefilte fish, fish sticks and pizza. And, as a convenience store, the shop has a large selection of liquor, some wine, lots of soft drinks and an assortment of chips and candies.

The various salads and other traditional homemade Jewish dishes are gone, of course, but Convoy Market & Deli has a nice little sandwich counter offering six- and 12-inch long sandwiches. You can get turkey, roast beef, veggie and the like on a long roll, as well as corned beef, pastrami and Reuben (although not, apparently, on traditional corned rye bread). I was there yesterday and they didn't have corned beef or pastrami so I had "The Italian," a full-throttle sub of Genoa salami, pepperoni, ham and cheese. It was unpretentious deli food and very tasty.

Potres is planning on carrying kosher meats for sandwiches and is gearing up for the kosher prepping for that with separate storage and utensils, carving machines and whatever else is necessary to get rabbinical approval.

Convoy Market & Deli is at 4488 Convoy St., Suite F at Balboa Ave.

Have some thoughts about Convoy Market & Deli or other ethnic markets in San Diego? Do you have a favorite neighborhood market or shop that carries unique or unusual foodstuff? Let me know or add to the conversation by clicking on comments below:

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