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Brass Bear Delicatessen—Walnut Creek

A second location of the Alamo favorite opens in Walnut Creek


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After nearly 30 years in Alamo Plaza, Brass Bear Delicatessen owners Sheida and Mehran Hamzeh have opened their second location in Walnut Creek. Amid a cluster of restaurants of various styles, Brass Bear is the only classic American deli on the Main Street strip and offers a quicker, informal alternative to more involved downtown dining.

Other than trading in the rustic, old-Euro deli aesthetic in Alamo for cheerfully painted walls, the layouts of the delis are nearly identical. What’s reassuring for Brass Bear loyalists is that the Walnut Creek location passes the taste test: The finely shredded lettuce, fresh meats and cheeses from Saag’s and Boar’s Head, and bread from Berkeley’s Metropolis bakery are all there packed into a use-two-hands sandwich for around $6.50. And, yes, the mayo still drips onto the wax paper in between bites.

Back-to-Basics: You can expect a little déjà vu when it comes to the menu board as well as what you order off it. Hamzeh had exact replicas made of his original signs, which still hang in Alamo.

Daily Deals: For a buck, you can add a soda and bag of chips to your sandwich. A soup and half-sandwich combo is available for $6.95.

Family Affair: You’ll usually see a member of the Hamzeh family working at the restaurant. Daughter-in-law, Shannon, worked through her pregnancy getting the Walnut Creek location ready, and son, Hooman, helps close.

Brass Bear Delicatessen, 1506 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 954-7485, brassbeardeli.com. Breakfast, lunch, and supper daily (until 5 or 6 p.m.).

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