There’s a deli in Grand Rapids, set on the narrow, downtown road of Commerce, where men (some with beards) serve up impeccable sandwiches, soups, and salads to hungry guests. Two Beards Deli may have gone out on a limb, but their success is weighing that limb right down to the ground.
On November 5th, 2012, the people of Cherry Deli and 4th Street Deli brought this quaint shop into existence. Scott and Suzanne Schulz own the place, which serves breakfast and lunch and also has catering services. The venue is clean; has a lofty, industrial feel; and is ever- busy, which is not a surprise after you’ve had the food.
A big breakfast is the best way to start your day, and Two Beards can fill your stomach right up. The Most Interesting Man in the World, a breakfast sandwich featuring the Dos Equis front man, to the Teddy Roosevelt, the sammies, paired with a café latte will do the trick. Wait a few hours, and come back for lunch…until then, let the croissant with egg, cheddar, bacon, pulled pork, and barbeque hollandaise tide you over. (That’s the Hulk Hogan).
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the shop is the lunch menu. While it resides on plain, white paper, the impressive and vast array of sandwiches nears insanity. There are 84 sandwiches alone to choose from, and get this—they are all named after people with facial hair. The Yeti, the Robert E. Lee, the King Leonidas, the Billy Mays, the Groucho Marx, the Honest Abe, the Fred Sanford (which is the most popular) —all with their namesake’s icon next to the sandwich description. Along with the sammies, they offer an array of warm, luscious soups every day, such as Butternut Squash Apple Bisque, White Chicken Chili, and Vegan Bean. For a fresher side, go with a salad, such as The Bearded Lady, the one item on the menu named after a woman. This salad has spiced pecans, fuji apples, red onion, and feta cheese.
Some of the men who work there, as mentioned, have beards or goatees. The women, unfortunately, unlike the salad, do not have any whatsoever. They employees joke that the founders once had beards so long, they are practically ‘wizards’. They may not be wizards in real life, but they work their magic on the food and the service alike. Once you order in-store, they hand you a blank CD with a number on it, which is how they identify you when they deliver your vittles. The friendly bearded men know how to make a mean sandwich and also how to deliver it with a smile. (Don’t worry—they keep those beards trimmed.)
Hannah Matro, Associate Editor