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Sanibel Deli features yummy ways to beat the heat

By Staff | May 22, 2009

As part of an ongoing summer series the Sanibel-Captiva Islander will be highlighting eateries with cool refreshing meals or treats to help beat the heat.

This week we are featuring the Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory located off of Palm Ridge Road.

Patio furniture nestled in a shady nook outside the deli allows for a cozy place to sip on a iced coffee and talk with friends during the often balmy afternoons.

Inside chef/owner Jeff Weigel chats with customers as he helps them get their order.

Weigel, an Upstate NY native, moved to Sanibel a couple of years ago. He owned and operated a restaurant in the Syracuse, NY area for nine years.

The Sanibel Deli opened late last year.

Aside from the array of organic coffees and breakfasts, the deli features fruit smoothies made to order with refreshing strawberries, bananas and the more exotic such as pomegranate. Iced tea is also brewed on the premises.

This summer folks can expect to see lively and refreshing dishes such as Gazpacho and a host of other vegetarian based dishes. And in case you are wondering – meals at the Sanibel Deli and Coffee Factory don’t come out of a frozen carton or can.

“We make everything from scratch,” Weigel said.

Earth-loving diners can rest easy and eat guilt-free since many of the plates and serving containers are made from eco-friendly materials.

What about the man behind the deli counter serving what seems to be an endless amount of coffee-related drinks and sandwiches? Aside from Betty who cooks many of the meals at the deli, Weigel can often be found working away in the kitchen.

Most folks who frequent the deli, know Weigel by his happy smile and quirky jokes he sends to customers in email alerting them of the daily specials.

We decided to chat up Weigel, an engineer-turned restaurant proprietor, to see what inspires him to be in the food business.

Q: What’s your favorite breakfast to serve at the Sanibel Deli?

A: The Breakfast sandwich because they’re big, good and cheesy. They’re the way a breakfast sandwich should be.

Q: What is your favorite dish?

A: Pizza.

Q: What do you do when you are not working at the deli?

A: Exercising, playing golf, flying planes and spending time with family.

Anyone interested in grabbing a quick bite at the deli can call 472-2555.