In St. Paul you are likely to stumble across some places that may not be what you think. This happened to me when I entered Lulu’s Deli on 1626 Selby Avenue in St. Paul. I had heard that there was a convenience store selling delicious gyro sandwiches on Selby Avenue. Mixing convenience items with a sandwich shop must make good business sense. There are plenty grocery/sandwich shops scattered throughout the Twin Cities. Joes in Minneapolis is a personal favorite. I guess pairing sandwiches and grab and go items makes some sense so that was what I expected when I hit Lulu’s Deli. What I found was a corner store with a few frozen food coolers and a few dry good shelves but other than that this was mostly like a sandwich shop with the added bonus of smokes and lottery tickets.
When I arrived, the gentleman at the counter explained that you grab a menu, order at the counter, then have a seat and they bring you your food – fair enough. From there I waited for my gyro with saffron rice and salad. I asked what other type of specials people liked from the menu and he suggested fish tacos, the fair burger which is a classic juicy Lucy topped with fried onions, pickles and you guessed it – cheese curds. There are saffron chicken wings which looked like your typical wings but they are served alongside a spicy pink sauce which I suspect is a Sriracha mayonnaise! Other items that looked really great coming out of the kitchen were a hummus platter, fries tossed with parsley and sea salt and the falafels looked small and delicate and crispy.
My gyro basket arrived and I was really pleasantly surprised at how good my sandwich was. The lamb was super tender and flavorful. The sauce was cucumbery cool and refreshing and there wasn’t too much or it which can sometimes happen with gyros so the meat taste gets overwhelmed. This sandwich had the perfect meat to cucumber sauce to vegetable ratio. Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce rounded out my sandwich. I had a nice side salad with balsamic vinaigrette and big chunks of tomatoes and cucumbers and the saffron rice was accompanied by a dollop of cucumber tzatziki sauce.
This place felt right at home in the neighborhood. I will definitely go back to try the tabouli salad and the falafel or… to buy some milk and cereal or a lottery ticket when I happen to be in the neighborhood. The young people that run the place are very social media savvy and you can order online and have your meal delivered and they do catering as well. If you find yourself in Merriam Park – check it out.
1626 Selby Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104