Thu, April 25, 2024

Best of Business Lunch Review: Groucho’s Deli

Editor’s Note:
Wes Hennings never met a meal he walked away from and is an opinionated eater! Each Thursday he shares the results of a business lunch he’s had with a colleague as a way to advise our business community on the good, bad, and tasty across the CSRA. He doesn’t let ABD or the restaurant know where he is going and his opinions are his own. He grades the restaurants he visits on a 1-5 scale with “5” being outstanding. We call this our “Real Business Lunch Review”.

Food Quality: 4
Service: 5
Business Meeting: 5
Value: 4

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Despite its prominent location on a corner downtown, I must admit, I’ve never noticed Groucho’s Deli on Broad Street. But on a typical afternoon in Augusta, it was a popular lunch spot for those folks working 9-5 in the city.

Honestly, it wasn’t our first choice, but we realized Monday is a tough day to find things open downtown and Google doesn’t seem to know the actual opening hours of a lot of places. We were close to Groucho’s after striking out, so it was an easy place to drop in as it’s so centrally located at 8th and Broad.

It’s one of the brightest, cleanest dining spots you’ll find among those dotted along Broad, so much you may think you were in a strip mall in Columbia County. It lends a nice air of freshness to the menu options available. And speaking of it, I opted for the grilled chicken and my dining partner the roast beef. While he had the typical chips, I upgraded to potato salad.

The sandwiches were tasty with fresh bread and sauces that added a nice flavor. But we both agreed that while they were good, there wasn’t anything about the sandwiches that set them apart from sandwiches you’d find at almost any deli anywhere. Plus, the chicken sandwich was a bit on the small side compared to many other places, hence, the ding for value despite prices being comparable to other lunch spots.

The most disappointing was the potato salad. I kept wanting to like it, as it was nice and chilled with good chunks of potato, but something about the flavor profile just seemed a bit off to me, meaning, when I return, I’ll likely opt for the plain ol’ bag o’ chips.

The other thing that seemed odd was that a majority of the specialty sandwiches were called dippers. I typically expect roast beef to be dipped in an au jus, but that was not on the menu. Instead, they are served with specialty mayo or mustard-based deli sauces, so it was a little weird to want to dip a sandwich that way. Perhaps, it’s just me and other people enjoy this quirk of Groucho’s.

The cleanliness and sheer space in this downtown diner make it an excellent choice for a quick lunch with colleagues, or an easy spot to take clients and have a chat over a casual meal, so it’s no wonder why it seems aptly located near some of the largest office spaces in town. And the service was really good. We were greeted quickly and with a smiling faces. There was one manager behind the bar who seemed a bit gruff and bothered when asked about things like au jus, but otherwise, it was a very pleasant experience.

So while I’ll definitely recommend Groucho’s for an easy, quick lunch and a convenient downtown spot, if you’re looking for somewhere with that extra something, maybe you’ll want to try one of our other, more unique Augusta lunch experiences.

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