OpportunitiesNB Rolling Out Something New

Logo for OpportunitiesNBWe have our St. Patrick’s Day lined up, thanks to OpportunitiesNB. They will be at the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal on Water Street, 11:00am March 17, for the launch of an exciting new initiative.

It promises to be a great information session. We’ll be catering and are definitely excited to be there to see what they will be rolling out. OpportunitiesNB is an important part of New Brunswick as “…the first point of contact for local and foreign businesses looking to grow, expand or locate.”

We look forward to catering this one as we incorporate some locally sourced ingredients — always a plus — and hearing what about what OpportunitiesNB is launching!

And it will be a great way to get St. Pat’s Day underway! 😉



Chop Chop Menu and General Tso at the Deli

A rough idea of what our General Tso chicken sandwich will look like.

Chop Chop arrives at Urban Deli with the question, “Who or what is General Tso?” Well, the who is General Tso Tsung-tang, a Qing Dynasty general from Hunan (China). But it is the what associated with his name that drew our attention and spurred our culinary creativity.

General Tso is an Asian chicken dish, a bit sweet and a bit spicy. Of course, we’re not doing General Tso’s chicken in the usual way. We’re doing our take on it, and making it a sandwich for Chop Chop 2016! This is our Chop Chop menu this year:

Two Course Lunch – $13

$1 from each Chop Chop dish is donated to the Lunch Connection

General Tso’s Chicken Sandwich

tso’s is prounounced ‘so’ (the ‘t’ is silent)

boneless breaded deep-fried chicken pieces tossed in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce.  Served on warm grilled soft bread, topped with sesame seeds, fresh cucumber slices, shaved carrot, green onion

served w/ a ramakin side of housemade slaw
(green apple, purple and green cabbage, onion, carrots, fresh lime, chilis)


housemade mini chocolate Whoopie Pie

General Tso Chicken...an image resembling what we're putting together, and before it is put into the bread for a sandwich. Yum!

General Tso Chicken…an image resembling what we’re putting together, and before it is put into the bread for a sandwich. Yum!


Our Annual SPCA Christmas Eve Day Event

From our 2014 annual SPCA event

From a previous year’s event, our SPCA day at the Deli.

On Thursday, Christmas Eve day (24th), Urban Deli is going to do what we do every year (we think it’s our sixth year): Have a few friends and regular customers volunteer to be our servers as we give our staff some time off. They’ll be on the floor starting at 11:30am until we close at 3:00.

AND as they give serving a try, we’ll also donate ALL the tips to one of our favourite charities — The Saint John SPCA Animal Rescue. They’re great people doing wonderful work. Our owner Liz and her husband John are big SPCA supporters, as is owner Gord, who has made significant donations to the cause.

Liz and John have adopted a cat (Whiskers) and two beautiful dogs, Storm and Bear. They are tremendously grateful for the work the SPCA does, their dedicated staff, the enthusiastic volunteers and everyone in Saint John that has adopted and given an animal a home. Kudos to all of you!

Thursday we hope we can send something their way through the tips, from our opening at 11:30am to close at 3:00pm.

If you’re in the Uptown Thursday, drop in for a bite or just to say hello. Any donation you care to make will be gratefully accepted and keep in mind, any tip you give goes to the Saint John SPCA Animal Rescue.

We hope to see you!

One last thing…For our holiday hours, please see our hours page. Oh, and here are Liz and John’s adoptees:





Whiskers, adopted from the Saint John SPCA a couple of years ago.



When You Need Help Planning Your Event

Champagne being pouredWith Chop Chop Week well underway, and all those great menus beckoning, it’s easy to forget the clock is ticking and dates for catered events are filling up – the ones for the holiday season and New Year’s.

If you’re thinking of a seasonal or end-of-year office gathering, a party for family, friends, or clients, or any other catered event between now and the New Year, contact us or give us a call at 652-3354 so we can schedule in your date.

We have openings, but they are filling up. To ensure you get the date you’re planning for, it’s best to call now to avoid any disappointment and rethinking of dates.

Keep in mind we can help you plan. Urban Deli and Italian by Night have been doing it since the day we opened and we’ve catered all types of events, big and small, from conferences to weddings to seasonal parties.

We want to take care of the details for you as you celebrate and thank your valued employees or colleagues, or usher in the holiday season or the New Year with family and friends. Whether it is a deli-styled buffet, an authentic Italian or a traditional turkey dinner – or something else you may have in mind – we have a menu and a price point to suit most needs.

Be sure you book soon as space in our restaurant is at a premium, and off site caterings are filling up. Call us at 652-3354. Or contact us with your catering request here.

And have a great week with Chop Chop!  (By the way, our Urban Deli Chop Chop Lunch menu is here, and our Italian by Night evening menu is here.)


Our Chop Chop Week Urban Deli Lunch

Day One of Chop Chop Week is under our belts and we loved it. It’s great seeing people in the Uptown tasting all the great fare the chefs have created. Where do you start? If you weren’t by the Deli today, you have a week to come in and try what our team has put together – it’s yummy to say the least!

By the way, each meal purchased means a donation to Lunch Connection. Here’s our Chop Chop menu for this year:

First Course

Start with our house made fall flavoured butternut squash, carrot & sweet potato soup with ginger, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and cream

Second Course

Move on to a deliciously grilled euro-wrap sandwich with a must-try bread: light and delicious! Grilled chicken breast with a balsamic glaze drizzle, melted Brie, chutney, garlic aioli, crisp bacon, greens

Our euro-wrap, grilled chicken breast with a balsamic glaze drizzle.

Chop Chop Week’s Urban Deli euro-wrap.


Deli Man and the Jewish Film Festival 2015

We’re thrilled to be a sponsor at the upcoming Saint John Jewish Film Festival 2015! And we have a perfect movie to sponsor: Deli Man.

Logo for the movie Deli Man.

It’s the Gala Opening Film and Reception and we’ll have bite sized Pastrami Sandwiches for all guests after the movie that night (with dill pickle!). It will be held at the Mary Oland Theatre, New Brunswick Museum.

The date is October 17th for the Gala Opening with the festival running October 18 to 22. You’ll find details on the films to be shown at Discover Saint John. Or have a look at the festival’s poster (.JPG image).

Deli Man should be a great movie. The movie’s site refers to it as, “A freshly made documentary by Erik Greenberg Anjou.” And we love how they speak about deli:

“More than 160 years of tradition served up by the Jewish deli owners, operators and fanatics who are keeping hot pastrami hot – and a culinary must. Just don’t tell your cardiologist.”

One last thing, you can learn about the Saint John Jewish Historical Museum. Their web site says of the Museum, “Its primary role is to collect, preserve and display the history of the Jewish community of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Visitors are welcomed from around the world.  In addition to exhibits, the museum also has a research library and archives.”


The Weekend Nip – A Maritime Story

(This is a reminiscence by Margaret Harriman about her father and his love of a ‘nip’ on the weekend, a very New Brunswick story.)

My father was a quiet man; a carpenter by trade, and a window and furniture maker by hobby. He could draw a floor plan on a piece of paper and build it, ground up. Yet he couldn’t read, he was unilingual, and the tools of today hadn’t been invented yet; but by word of mouth, he was in demand.

Ad for Teacher's Highland Cream (aka 'The Nip')

Ad for Teacher’s Highland Cream (aka ‘The Nip’)

In the 1950’s, there was no unemployment insurance, so more than half of his seasonal earnings had to be put aside for the winter. While Mother was the spender, Father was a saver, keeping only enough for a ‘nip’ on the week-end.

It had been a standing order in our house that when father had a ‘nip’ on Saturday, then clam chowder would be made. Depending on the degree of ‘nipping’ our main fare would normally be beans, pork chops, and pancakes. Father always made the pancakes. But, when he couldn’t flip because of the nip, we would have clam chowder.

One Saturday night, about two hours after he had already eaten, he asked when supper was going to be ready, “I’m damn near starved!” Mother fumed. Out came the clam chowder for the second time since the five-o’clock-on-the-dot serving.

You see, Father gave clam chowder clues that he knew nothing about: if he headed straight to the basement when he came home, he had bought his nip; if he held his arm close to his body, he had bought a bigger nip.

Either way, the nip was stashed in his secret place, a large grey crock, covered with two pieces of clapboard, under the bench in his workshop. But if Mother was within earshot of the clamor he made, he would stash it in his sawdust bin, where the Sussex Ginger Ale – another glass bottle – was in good supply.

If he got away clean, it really didn’t matter; the minute he took his first nip, his nose got red. When I was little, I believed he was really Santa. He was the only one who had a workshop where we lived, he made my toys, and he had a red nose sometimes. As for his having no beard, I believed he grew it Christmas Eve.

By the time Father came up from his quick trip to the basement, Mother would be peeling the potatoes for chowder. And that’s what she had done, once again, on this particular Saturday.

While the chowder reheated, she set his place at the table. The bowls we used in those days were shallow and had a wide edge. I always found them handy to hide bread crusts under. Father liked them, he said, because things cooled off faster in a bowl like that. Anyway, with a bit of a tilt, and a lot of tipsy, Father made his way to the table.

He sat down, looked at me and started to giggle, “You got no supper neither?”

When Mother set the bowl of chowder in front of him, the thud was so loud, I’m sure I heard the metal rattle on the chrome table. Father paid no mind and proceeded to pepper his chowder until it was blacker than it was white.

Mother beckoned me to follow her to the basement. She was planning a nip raid! One thing about Father, he would never have stood for a tell-tale squeaky board anywhere, so our descent to the basement was an easy one. Nonetheless, Mother made the whole trip on tip toes all the way into the workshop. She was sneaking up on the nip, and by threat of ‘the look’, I mimicked her every move.

'The Nip' - Teacher's Highland Cream

‘The Nip’ – Teacher’s Highland Cream

She went right for the crock. And there it was – the remainder of a quart of Scotch.

I watched her as she eased it out, and followed her, on tip toe, to the laundry room. She took the top off the bottle and with the tap in the set tub, turned on just a little faster than an eye dropper, she proceeded to put water in Father’s quart of nip. “He’ll never know the difference,” she whispered, as we made the tip toe trip back to the crock.

“Sh-h-h” she warned, as she laid back the bottle into the crock, replaced the two pieces of clapboard, and wiped her hands on her apron.

We were tip toeing back up the stairs when we began hearing a noise, a mumble of sorts, that repeated itself. We continued with stealth along the hallway to the kitchen. We peeked around the door casing and there was my father, sound asleep in his bowl of clam chowder. He was snoring, and every time he exhaled, his lips flapped, causing white, black dotted chowder waves that made his red bulbous nose look like a floating buoy.

Mother was right; he never knew the difference.

Written by Margaret Harriman

More to Come

We thought it would be interesting to have a look at the chowder recipe ‘Mother’ used, maybe have a look at the Urban Deli chowder, and take a look at how many people today (and yesterday) have their “secret ingredients.” We may even see if we can’t track down a bit of the history of chowder. (Although there will certainly be differing views of this.) 

So keep an eye out in the days to come for a follow-up. And also keep an eye open for more Maritime stories from Margaret Harriman. 🙂