Connecting People to Places

School Road Deli goes to the top of the class in Spencer’s Market

Rob Dennis, owner of the School Road Deli in Spencer’s Market serves an artisan sandwich to islander James Stewart, right. Photo by C. Leinbach

Rob Dennis, owner of the School Road Deli in Spencer’s Market serves an artisan sandwich to islander James Stewart, right.                             Photo by C. Leinbach

 By Connie Leinbach

Folks hankering for delicatessen-style sandwiches on Ocracoke have another option.

The School Road Deli has opened and is offering artisan sandwiches of all types.

Artisan because they are hand-crafted under the kitchen leadership of Matt Tolson, said Rob Dennis, owner.

“We’re bringing something new that’s not here,” Dennis said about the new eatery located in Spencer’s Market beside Thai Moon Thai Food, which he owns with his wife, Moon, a native of Thailand. “We’re targeting on quality deli products.”

Artisan sandwich names are dubbed according to school themes, such as “Smokin’ in the Boys Room, with Buffalo chicken,” “Honor Roll,” a classic Italian, to name a few.  Vegetarian and gluten-free and roast beef and steak special sandwiches are also among the fare.

The menu is hand-lettered by Kitty Mitchell, the soon-to-again-be the Ocracoke School art teacher, on large pieces of slate strategically placed on the walls.

All meats and are Boar’s Head products except for the beef and steak sandwiches, Dennis said.

“We’re cooking our own roast beef every day,” he said.

“I heard it tastes like grandma’s Sunday dinner on a hoagie roll,” said James Stewart, Gaffer’s cook, who stopped in for the first time to try one. “I’m a sandwich fiend.”school rd deli

Tolson, who was the day cook at the Flying Melon, creates all of the sauces for the sandwiches, Dennis said.

“There’s nothing out of a bottle,” Dennis said about the condiments.

The “Louisiana Purchase,” a muffaleta, is getting rave reviews. Dennis is most proud that a couple from New Orleans recently gave it high praise.

Along with bottled soft drinks, patrons can choose from four North Carolina Foothills craft beer on tap. Sliced meats and cheeses are also available for purchase by the pound.

Dennis designed the shop and built it, too, along with some detail help by island artist Len Skinner.

Seating inside is like a lounge, Dennis said, on banquettes in front of tables made of reclaimed lumber.

Outdoor on the deck, there’s seating for about 40, including a back section for which Dennis will construct a wooden bar for additional table space and seating.

The deli is open daily and expects to stay open all year.