Orange County sometimes feels like the center of the brotastic, next-gen deli sandwich universe. The Trough in Rancho Santa Margarita recently opened a second self in Newport Beach, and Stockyard Sandwich Company in the 4th Street Market and C4 Deli have downtown Santa Ana covered.
Sessions West Coast Deli, whose original Newport Beach location was joined last year by a right-on-PCH shop in the heart of Huntington Beach, has plans to widen the field even more. Culinary director Max Schlutz says he and partner Matt Meddock will have three more Sessions by the end of this year, possibly filling spaces that became available after a franchised chain closed several Orange County stores.
Even as they strategize multi-unit expansion, though, Schlutz and Meddock are all about their new breakfast menu, which includes a morning version of their popular Summer Zephyr, a fresh mozz and tomato sandwich with aioli that for breakfast gets scrambled eggs and bacon as well ($9). There are loaded breakfast burritos, lighter fare like bagels with or without cream cheese, house-made granola, plus O.C.’s own Kéan Coffee to accompany.
I’ve idly wondered why the weirdly huge avocado-and-friends toast trend hasn’t surfaced in Orange County restaurants, and concluded that we’re probably making what’s basically a non-dish at home. Now, however, value-added toast has arrived at Sessions, in a few different iterations. (I’m told the deli’s brain trust perused Pinterest for toast-topping ideas.) Sessions adds goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, arugula, and balsamic reduction to its avocado, and has another especially good one with ricotta, walnuts, and honey (each, $4/half, $7 whole).
And, good to know when sandwiches and toast are on the menu: You can trust that the bread’s solid—it all comes from Dean Kim’s Orange-based OC Baking.