By Griffin Nelson
Photography by John Antaki
With 29 years under its belt, the Village Deli has come to be known as a local staple in Augusta. Blue collar and white collar alike meet on equal ground to dive in to the awarding winning burgers, unforgettable fries, and homemade ice cream.
Tucked in the corner of the Daniel Village Shopping Center, the interior vibe is cozy and feels like a neighborhood pub, decorated with old sports pictures, jerseys, and vintage memorabilia and full of friendly servers and patrons ready to help you pick something from the extensive menu. I plunked my bag down on the bar stool next to a Vietnam vet and asked if he was a regular. “Oh, 2 or 3 times a week,” he responded. (I think one is considered a “regular” if they know that Fridays are prime rib night.) “You can’t go wrong with anything on that menu,” I was assured. And he was right!
Having been The Augusta Chronicle’s 2017 & 2016 Augusta Burger & Beer Week winner and the champion of the 2016 Augusta Burger Battle, the Village Deli knows how to serve up a burger that’s a cut above average. The beef is locally sourced from Doug’s Meat Shop in Surrey Center and is ground fresh daily and grilled to medium well for a perfectly juicy finish every time. Each burger can be customized to preference, even to the extent of subbing in grilled chicken, and is topped with a mix of traditional and creative ingredients from bacon to salsa to a myriad of cheeses. But the award winning Apple Smoked Pork Belly Burger and Deli Deluxe Brisket Burger get an A+ exactly the way they are designed.
No burger is complete without a side of fries. The lemon pepper potato wedges have a surprisingly well-balanced flavor and the traditional shoestring fries are sure to hit the spot. If fried potatoes aren’t your thing, potato salad, pasta salad, and coleslaw are also yummy options.
Don’t fill up too fast though; save room for some homemade ice cream from Summerville Scoops next door. With the same owners and management, all of the ice cream is made in- house and boast creative and unique flavors like peanut butter and jelly, maple bacon, and southern pecan cheesecake, among others. Start with a hand crafted waﬄe cone and finish it oﬀ with chocolate or caramel drizzle.
According to Village Deli’s manager, when french fries were invented, the size of shoestrings was much thicker than today so what is thought of as thick-cut fries today really were the size of shoestrings. Though the length can vary depending on the potato, shoestring fries are generally square throughout, diﬀerentiating them from the other yummy wedge cut, sweet potato, and beer battered options on the menu.
Savannah River Dynamite Brown Ale
As of September 1, 2017, Georgia has passed a law that loosens old prohibition regulations that required breweries to distribute their beer only through wholesalers and restricted them from selling directly to customers. We highly recommend celebrating this change by stopping by the local Savannah River Brewing Company and trying out a pint of their Dynamite Brown Ale.
This beer is fantastic out of the bottle but is even better on tap. Paired with a burger at Village Deli it balances perfectly and is easy to imagine it pairing well with almost anything. The brewery gives it a 2-out-of-4 on their hop scale with a semi sweet, semi spiced finish that pairs with anything from appetizers to desserts.
The brewery has only been open about a year but is quickly making a name for itself, holding its own with older companies from around the state and participating in beer festivals and tap takeovers throughout the area.
Article appears in the January 2018 issue of Augusta Magazine.