Meal of the week No.53: Ollie’s Deli

Leave a comment

Life has been a rollercoaster for Ollie’s Deli in the past few years.

But they’re keeping on keeping on.

And, after watching their story unfold from afar, I’m very happy to be stepping inside the sanger shop – located in the what was once the Royal Hotel – for my first taste.

The mostly white-and-bright and tile-heavy interior is a surprise, conjouring up images of fast food and blandness.

But those impressions are swiftly, handily swept aside by the cheerful staff and the quality of the food.

I’m in for a mid-week lunch, so am unable to secure one of the weekend specials.

Normally, in this sort of setting, I’d hone in on anything pastrami/reuben on the menu (see below).

Today though I go for the Italian Deli Bagel ($15), even though it’s the kind of thing I’d create out of the fridge.

And maybe I go for it because it kinda seems like a New Orleans-style muffaletta.

It is, too – though a lot less pungent and garlicky.

It is very, very good.

And generous!

Piled high are mortadella, salami, ham, roast capsicum, spinach, provolone and mayo.

The bagel itself is equally excellent – both fresh and chewy.

And because I’m in the mood for a meal rather than a snack, I get extras – potato crisps and pickles for $3 each.

This, of course, nudges the bill upwards quite a bit.

But happily the serves of both are also generous and crunchy, making for a fine repast.

I like Ollie’s Deli a lot – they’re offering a yummy point of difference in Footscray Central.

And judging by the number of orders going out the door, it’s working.

Gooey in the centre

Toasta. Phone: 0407 331 889

When Bennie and I take one of our regular drives around the inner western “coast” – along the Strand and right through to Altona, or the other way around – we have a tradition that when we sight the bay from anywhere near Williamstown Beach we count out loud the number of ships we see “parked” out there.

We’ve developed the same routine when cruising past the food trucks at Yarraville Gardens, counting off and naming the truck as we pass.

But we don’t stop to eat so often these days – the food trucks are just one of the many options open to us all.

But I am keen to check out the Toasta crew and their sangers.




I admire their ingenuity in finding a niche in a tight truck marketplace.

I wonder if they create great toasted sandwiches within the demanding truck framework.

The answer is: Yes!

They key is really good ingredients.

They use Zeally Bay sourdough, which has just the right structural integrity without being too gnarly.

It toasts splendidly.




I go for the Barry, with cheddar, brisket, dill pickle and smokey BBQ sauce for $12.

While my sandwich appears of only modest proportions, I know after one bite it’ll be eating bigger than it appears.

After four bites, I realise it’s a bargain and wonder if I’ll be able to finish it.

I do, but there’s no room for anything else, so I dig the purity of the Toasta menu that excludes fries and other sides.

The dominant flavour is of very good cheddar with brisket undertones, with quite a lot of dill pickle providing zingy punctuation.


I like, too, how Toasta dispenses with the usual soft drinks, be they the commercial riff raff or fizz of the more boutique variety.

My lemonade house-mixed soda ($4) is real nice.

Just don’t go thinking a Toasta sandwich is in any way more healthy than the burgers, fries, grills or stuff-on-sticks being served up by their food truck compatriots!

Check out the Toasta website here. And, of course, “like” their FB page to know where they’re at.