Photography by John Antaki

 

“The history is palpable immediately upon stepping through the doorway into the welcoming arms of Hildebrandt’s, a family-friendly deli that has been around since the late 1800s. Luanne Hildebrandt shows me around and proudly tells story after story of her and her family’s experiences and I hang on every word. As part of the 4th generation of the German family that originally opened the grocery, she grew up cleaning the floors, taking orders, prepping meats for sandwiches, and doing odd jobs with her siblings and cousins.

Over a century later the deli maintains a historic feel with family sized tables, wooden floors, and a fun and eclectic collection of antiques for sale displayed throughout. Even the original counter and scales remain to contribute to the building’s impressions of yesteryear. But let us not forget what Hildebrandt’s is at its core: a fabulous deli serving up both classic and modern, creative combinations. The warm Sweet Heat Louis is named after Luanne’s father, Louis Hildebrandt and features four different meats, two cheeses, and a locally made sauce from DiChickO’s. The standard Reuben is made with a house-made dressing but comes with several different variations from the traditional corned beef to a vegetarian option. Daily specials also rotate through like Grilled Swiss with ham and caramelized onions, egg salad, and The Moose – piled high with roast beef, ham, turkey, salami, and coleslaw.

Hildebrandt’s embodies all of my favorite things – good food, history, and local culture. Having been part of the Augustan story for so long, the deli has also done a great job of showcasing products by area artisans. From candles to ginger ale, lotion to hand-crafted cutting boards, the shop has a diverse selection of gifts, supporting the local economy in the process of serving up a solid sandwich. Celebrating its 140th birthday next year, Hildebrandt’s continues to remain relevant and popular as it serves up its German-Southern inspired menu in a building and environment that captures the heart and history of Augusta.”

Article appears in the April 2018 issue of Augusta Magazine.

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