Deli delight 

With a strawberry cake that can send you back in time and huge sandwiches, ND Foods is a unique experience.

Sandwiches at ND Foods are 3 inches tall. - JACOB THREADGILL
  • Jacob Threadgill
  • Sandwiches at ND Foods are 3 inches tall.

ND Foods operated at its 50th Street and Western Avenue location for 14 years before moving to its current location on Britton Road in The Village in 2008, but the recipe for success has remained the same: serving classics done right with deli sandwiches made with premium quality meat.

Not only is ND Foods a good location for a hot meal, it’s also an opportunity to shop in one of the most unique collections of antiques in the city. Owners and mother-son duo Nicholas and Deloris Wade provide the initials for the 10,000 square-foot combination deli and antique store. You’re just as likely to bump into a former Oklahoma governor or University of Oklahoma football coach, thanks to Deloris Wade’s connections as real estate owner and longtime caterer for businesses and political meetings over the decades.

I found the selection in the antique portion of the store to be equal parts retro and chic. Considering I walk through most galleries in an antique store and see things that people were desperate to get off their hands, the artwork and clothing at ND Foods is heavily curated.

“My mother was an interior decorator for DuPont and Dow [Chemical],” Deloris Wade said, seated at the front of the store. “I sell all over the world. We’ve got five warehouses full [of antiques] and supply dealers in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada with goods. Nick handles Facebook, and recently, he put something up, and within an hour, a guy in Kuwait called and made the sale.”

Deloris Wade grew up in south Florida and moved to Oklahoma City with her late husband Richard in the 1950s after they graduated from medical school, at the behest of the medical board in Chicago.

click to enlarge Stuffed peppers with a side salad and house dressing - JACOB THREADGILL
  • Jacob Threadgill
  • Stuffed peppers with a side salad and house dressing

“They said, ‘If you go to Oklahoma City, we’ll make you a deal,’” she said.

Over the decades, she has done well in real estate and amassed a huge collection of interesting antiques, but the collection of artwork, furniture and clothing isn’t the only thing that’s impressive at ND Foods.

The bakery sells an assortment of cakes, pies, cookies and whoopie pies that are big enough to make your jaw drop, which is the only way to eat them. A slice of cake checked in on my tape measure at 5 inches tall, while a club sandwich hit 3 inches.

Nick Wade told me the strawberry cake remains the most popular cake on a rotating menu that changes regularly. On my first trip into the bakery, they sold a Gentleman’s Cake, which is a pineapple brown sugar whiskey pecan cake with brown sugar whiskey frosting.

“Maybe don’t eat that one and drive,” he joked with a customer.

There’s a large selection of pies as well, like Key lime or a new chocolate custard pie with double chocolate cookies for an extra crunch.

On the deli side, ND Foods offers sandwiches with premium Boar’s Head meat, which is at the top of the industry line, sliced in-store.

“It’s about as good as you can get,” Nick Wade said. “There are other premium brands, but no one around here sells them.”

The Reuben, Cuban and meatball (made in-house) sandwiches are among the top sellers.

I tried a couple of cold sandwiches on my first trip: the classic club (9.99 for whole, $4.99 for half) and the Sonoma Turkey with pepper turkey, pepper jack cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato and cranberry mustard.

click to enlarge Gentleman’s Cake is a pineapple brown sugar whiskey pecan cake with brown sugar and whiskey frosting. - NICHOLAS WADE / PROVIDED
  • Nicholas Wade / provided
  • Gentleman’s Cake is a pineapple brown sugar whiskey pecan cake with brown sugar and whiskey frosting.

Unless you’re really hungry or want food for days, I would recommend ordering half of a sandwich because they’re so big. I had the Sonoma Turkey for dinner and lunch the next day. I liked the cranberry mustard as a sweet complement to the spicy cheese.

 I was intrigued by the pepper jack cheese macaroni and cheese but will have to get that on another trip. ND Foods sells a selection of take-and-bake options like meatloaf, chicken potpie with biscuit-style topping and enchiladas.

On a second visit, I tried the stuffed bell peppers with a side salad served with house oil and vinegar dressing. The bell peppers were stuffed with ground beef and rice and covered with a standard tomato sauce. It felt like a classic dish done the way it has always been served, which is a hallmark of the deli. Nick Wade said the traditional egg salad, which is only served on Fridays and Saturdays, is always popular. It’s eggs boiled in-house and mixed with dressing of mayonnaise, spices and celery.

“Some places buy pre-boiled eggs, but that’s the difference between using lemon juice from a bottle and squeezing a lemon,” he said. “You can’t change what works.”

The stuffed peppers got the job done, but I thought the standout in the meal was the salad with stellar dressing that was the perfect blend of oil, acid and spices.

The dressing also tops a Greek-style flatbread that Nick Wade said is popular, and I can see why. I want to buy bottles of it for home.

I will freely admit that I am normally pie over cake because I’m a pie crust connoisseur (my favorite recipe uses chilled vodka for increased flakiness), but the strawberry cake called my name when I first entered the store.

It is layered with buttercream frosting and fresh strawberries in addition to more frosting and fresh strawberries on top. At $6.50 per slice, I was skeptical of the price, but it was worth every penny. I took it home, and my wife and I ate on it for a few days. We each had nostalgic experiences while eating the cake. I was transported back to the first strawberry cake I had from a co-worker in my first job out of college that made me reconsider pie over cake. My wife was reminded of a cake from her favorite birthday as a child.

Whether it is a giant sandwich, dessert or good selection of antiques, ND Foods has you covered.  

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