Sunday's Delicatessen opens in Cigar City

David Sunday's New York-style deli opens.

click to enlarge SPICY MEATBALL: Sunday’s Delicatessen, where breakfast is served all day and the 
portions always require a to-go box. - SHANNA GILLETTE
SHANNA GILLETTE
SPICY MEATBALL: Sunday’s Delicatessen, where breakfast is served all day and the 
portions always require a to-go box.

Before school started in the morning on Long Island, Dave Sunday (of the now-defunct Sunday’s Fine Dining) would go to the local bakery and make bagels until it was time for homeroom. After school, he’d go to the deli and make salads and sandwiches. “I just grew up running around delis as a kid,” said Sunday, owner of Sunday’s Delicatessen in Ybor City. “I knew a deli was just what this town needed.”

He launched his restaurant quietly two weeks ago. The deli got busy almost instantly. “We’ve been open 16 days and we’ve worked 19 hours almost every day,” Sunday said. “We had to close last Sunday because we were completely exhausted. We just had a line out the door and everyone waited.”

click to enlarge Sunday's Meatball hero. - SHANNA GILLETTE
SHANNA GILLETTE
Sunday's Meatball hero.

On a recent weekday at 2 p.m., Sunday hustles over to the oven to check the dough used to bake fresh baguettes. He plops it into his enormous 1945 steel Hobart mixer. “I call this Darth Vader,” Sunday says as flour plumes into the air. “It has a hand crank and even a clutch.” He makes his baguettes extra wide, to accommodate the overwhelming portions of his sandwiches.

Sunday’s Fine Dining, located across the street from the deli, closed shortly after Father’s Day this year. “With three levels and two bars, the space was too big,” Sunday said. “We were always 20 percent full and needed to bring in $3,000 a day.”

That’s when Ybor businessman Joe Capitano told Sunday he had purchased a space across the street. “He gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Sunday said. “He just asked when I could move in.”

Sunday said he knew he wanted to make the space at 1930 E. Seventh Avenue a deli. “I already had the entire menu done in my head,” Sunday said. In addition to making breads, the deli also produces homemade corned and roast beef, sausage and meatballs.

click to enlarge Sunday's Italian hero. - SHANNA GILLETTE
SHANNA GILLETTE
Sunday's Italian hero.

But the biggest change for Sunday wasn’t the new menu. “Getting used to being in the public eye,” Sunday said. The deli’s kitchen is open so there are no walls. “I can’t cuss or throw pans anymore.”

Breakfast is served all day, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The menu still maintains some of Sunday Fine Dining’s classic dishes, like the tender lemon ricotta pancakes and the Norwegian grilled cheese. Half-sandwiches are $5, and the regular size — bigger than a foot long — goes for $9 a pop. There’s the Italian, packed with cold cuts; the Singapore Street Vendor sandwich with barbecue pork; and the hangover hero: three eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, a thick layer of American cheese and home fries all on a homemade baguette. The sandwich is so large it looks like a swathed newborn. “People are buying it just to see it,” Sunday said.

click to enlarge Owner and chef David Sunday mixing dough with his 1945 Hobart mixer nick-named "Darth Vader." - SHANNA GILLETTE
SHANNA GILLETTE
Owner and chef David Sunday mixing dough with his 1945 Hobart mixer nick-named "Darth Vader."

Soon, he hopes to fill the wooden bins out front with produce and breads. “And I want to sell fresh meat and our homemade sausages for people to take home and cook,” Sunday said. “For people who live here, there is nowhere to get that kind of stuff.” Thanks to David Sunday, there soon will be.

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