I had pretty much formed in my mind months ago what this post was going to be like. At least I had thought so. I go to Beach Hut Deli somewhat regularly with a buddy, though we go to the one out in Lincoln since it is owned and operated by a mutual friend. He runs a solid business, the food is consistantly good and it’s a great hangout, particularly in the summertime when they have live music out on the patio. I’ve long held the opinion that other Beach Hut Delis (except perhaps the original 3) were not worth going to based on a few poor experiences a while back. It’s been years now since my last non-Lincoln Beach Hut visit and I can say that opinion is no longer valid, at least at this Foothills location.
When I showed up at about 5pm there were half a dozen other customers eating, drinking, watching basketball and hanging out. I was greeted almost immediately and hadn’t even quite found my bearings yet. To the left they have the signature surfboard-table booths. Further back, which I didn’t check out in closer detail, there appeared to be a few tables and a single table which was higher up than any other in the joint. One guy was planted up at that table, drinking and watching the game, for the entire time I was there. They have a U-shaped bar with stools where you can sit, but it’s kind of awkward because you’re just sitting and staring right into the kitchen or at the cashier if they are at it. It looked very bare and I’m not sure what the original vision for it was, but it’s not somewhere I would sit unless it was the only place left. They have a very small patio with just a few little tables and one larger “hut” table. It’s pretty cramped out there.
The main counter with the register is right up front and the soda machine is just next to that. On the wall to the right after walking in is the large menu, which I realized after staring at it for a few seconds that I had already memorized. In case you haven’t, here it is. I went with my regular, The Pig Kahuna. This is more of a pile of meat and cheese over bread than it is a sandwich. I’ve never even bothered trying to pick one up because I know it would just end in disaster. It’s pulled pork with Tabasco, BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese with chilled pineapple overtop. Mike, one of the longtime employees out in Lincoln, got me hooked on adding cream cheese and bacon to this already amazingly tasty sandwich, and it will probably kill me someday. They either did not have Dr Pepper or they were out, so I ordered a pint of Great White from Lost Coast Brewery. This was poured and handed to me immediately in a frozen glass.
Sitting in the frontmost booth I soon noticed a satellite box up above the booth next to mine, and then realized it was driving a TV that was facing out the window and directly to the hut table. I thought that was a pretty nice touch. My name was called not five minutes after ordering, and I picked it up, along with a plastic knife and fork. I only mention the flatware because these were of decent quality. I get really annoyed when a business gets the cheap stuff that bends or breaks under light use. I even keep a little box of decent platic forks and spoons in my car in case I run into cheapo ones (I’m looking in your direction, Wingstop).
I’m used to some pretty good looking Pig Kahuna’s in Lincoln, and this one was definitely in the ballpark. One difference I noticed to Lincoln’s was that The BBQ sauce was obviously added last, even poured over the pineapple. The other thing I noticed was the cheddar was simply laid underneath the pork to melt. At Lincoln they mix the BBQ, Tabasco, cheese and pulled pork all together until it’s a single delicious mess. This was actually pretty good with the more obvious layers of ingredients. With each bite I was able to distinctly recognize the sweet BBQ and hot tabasco against the flavor of the pulled pork, where in Lincoln it would be a uniform taste from start to finish. I think both methods are very good, but they are definitely different.
This visit showed me that there are certainly other good Beach Hut locations out there. The food was just as good as Lincoln, and I think that is saying a lot. The service was very fast and friendly. The layout was kind of awkward with the strange bar, the small patio and there is also some wasted space up front where they have the menu. Interior aside, this was a good visit and I would definitely recommend this Beach Hut Deli.