Dining out: Applewood expands with deli next door

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Why: If Applewood Restaurant and Bar is on your list of favorites, you will want to check out its newly opened deli right next door. Its offerings include wine, sandwiches, salads, cheeses, soup, sides, appetizers, sauces, desserts and meats. A few recipe cards are available to spark the imagination and the staff is also very helpful and friendly.

Atmosphere: Applewood NW Delicatessen and Catering has an indoor patio feel and a few tables and chairs for dining in. The carpet and soft lighting create a cozy feel. Wine and a few gourmet items are displayed along the walls. Two cases hold deli selections. A paper menu lists prepared offerings, with the soup of the day written on an overhead chalkboard.

What I tried: I decided on the Chicken Vegetable with Rice and Savory Soup and the Applewoods Potato Salad. My dining companion had the Roasted Pork Loin Sandwich made with cranberry mayonnaise, spinach, tomato and jack cheese on whole wheat bread. We both settled on the Carrot Cake for dessert. I also took home a couple of Pan Seared Salmon Fillets and some Roasted Potatoes.

The soup contained carrots, onions, rice and small cubes of chicken in a thick broth. The flavor was both peppery and savory and I found it a satisfying choice for a light appetite.

Applewood’s potato salad is very chunky and creamy, with a distinct taste that showcases the potatoes. Each hearty bite imparts a hint of egg.

My dining companion enjoyed her sandwich and noted that the pork was very lean. Unlike a turkey cranberry sandwich, which is typically punctuated with the presence of the cranberry, the fruit in Applewood’s cranberry mayonnaise mixture only slightly flavors each bite. The sandwich was accompanied by kettle-style chips and some lettuce, two tomato slices, a pepperoncini and a small deli pickle on the side.

The carrot cake had a coarse mixture of ingredients and was moist and fresh. I noted the unmistakable presence of pineapple, an uncommon but tasty carrot cake ingredient.

I prepared the salmon filets and roasted potatoes for dinner. Since the salmon was pre-cooked, I finished it off in the oven with a bit of teriyaki sauce. The result was delicious and the salmon had a smoky essence to it. Although I enjoyed the potatoes at the start, they were seasoned with rosemary, a flavor, in my opinion, which quickly becomes too much if overused. Such was the case with these potatoes.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: The menu’s fresh salmon salad with dill, scallions, red onion, celery and aioli on focaccia bread with lettuce, tomato and havarti cheese sounded like it could satisfy a particular craving, as did the Black Bean Chili with Pork.

From the deli case, a Chicken Pinwheel and some Crab Cakes looked especially appealing. The Cheesecake also caught my eye.

Other observations: Though the selection isn’t vast, there are enough options to pull together all the elements for a well-balanced dinner.

About 100 wines are available, along with microbrew beers and a few Grand Central Bakery breads.

Cost: Sandwiches are $5 for a half or $8.75 for a whole. For $3 you may add a cup of soup or a side salad to a sandwich. Soup and salads range from $3 to $7. Par-cooked meats are sold by the pound.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Telephone: 360-210-5522.

Where: 2005 S.E. 192nd Ave., Vancouver.

Health score: Applewood’s deli has received a pre-opening inspection and is scheduled for a routine inspection in the near future. For information, call 360-397-8428.