Smells of savory soups and fresh bread dominate the corner of the Kukui Grove shopping mall next to Macy’s, where more often than not you’ll find loaves just out of the oven and a line out the door.
It’s the Deli and Bread Connection, a breezy cafe with a raised corner deli, coolers that house bottled drinks, and a rack of chip bags next to tin signs boasting things like a Mini-Sub Combo for $7.75 or a Classic Club for $8.25.
Checkerboard paper wraps generous sandwiches, matching the checkered deli countertop, adding a vintage feel that brings to mind visions of one-horse towns and local dives.
A dozen or so tables dot the main dining room, with a couple of angular bench-like tables near the door, and intermingled with shoppers, families can usually be found diving into a sub sandwich or Portuguese bean soup after school on weekdays.
Serving Kauai since 1998, Deli and Bread Connection has been honored with “Best of Kauai” and “People’s Choice” awards for a decade, the menu is built around fresh-made bread — with bread bowls starting at center stage.
Sourdough bread bowls are combined with freshly-made clam chowder for a local favorite but can be filled with the cafe’s soup of the day. Three varieties are served every day and the menu boasts about 10 types of soup in total, including Garden Vegetable, Corn Chowder and Boston Clam Chowder, Cream of Broccoli and Home Style Chicken Noodle.
The deli itself slings a long list of sandwiches and subs. Deli exclusives include the BLT on toasted sourdough; the TOPSS Sandwich with turkey, olives, peppers, sprouts, and Swiss cheese on sourdough; the Islander Sub with pastrami, turkey, Swiss and pepper jack cheese; the Rollyn Rubin with a secret sauce and thinly sliced corn beef on rye; and the Megladon with roast beef, onion, mushrooms, pepperoncini, peppers and provolone on a French roll.
Other deli sandwiches include staples like turkey, salami or roast beef, chicken salad sandwiches and a liver sausage sandwich called the Braunschweiger. French dips, Poor Boys, and tuna salad round out the menu.
Salads and vegetarian options are also available. The priciest menu item is the Poor Boy, which is touted as a “colossal sandwich” on the menu and advertised as enough for two. It’s made with any combination of three meats, two cheeses and any toppings. It comes with a $13.50 price tag.
Daylight Donuts are also for sale at the Deli and Bread Connection, as well as freshly made deserts — that menu changes based on availability and what’s being made.
It’s a place to bring the family after the next soccer game, a lunch spot for when you’re out shopping and a quick, healthy option for weekday grab-and-go lunches.
Call ahead if you’re in a hurry.