Gypsy Kitchen’s refreshing menu pleases palates in Anza

Gypsy Kitchen owner Brian James Udarbe creates delectable deli sandwiches in the kitchen located at the Cahuilla Mountain Market in Anza. Diane Sieker photo

The new Gypsy Kitchen is the place for fine quality deli sandwiches like no other available on the hill. The refreshing menu includes delicious variations on the sandwich shop staples, with some cool names to go with them: “The Bostonian,” a roast beef with all the extras; “The Sussman Volk,” a pastrami at its finest and “My Cousin Vinny,” a housemade meatball marinara on a fresh hoagie roll, to name but a few. The massive “The Anthony Bill” weighs in at a hefty half pound, created with pastrami, two slices of Monterey Jack cheese, diced red onion, pepperonis and jalapenos in the middle and served toasted. The soups available include thick, rich lobster bisque with sherry and red pepper bisque with smoked Gouda cheese.

It is all very impressive, and the scents wafting from the kitchen are enough to whet the most determinedly particular appetite.

Located at the Cahuilla Mountain Market on state Route 371, just north of the Cahuilla Casino, the Gypsy Kitchen proprietor and sandwich artist Brian James Udarbe has an outgoing personality and possesses a wonderful sense of humor, but he is serious about excellent food made with the best fixings available.

“As far as quality ingredients go, it came as a trial-and-error process, and we had to go through a couple of food suppliers,” Udarbe said. “I personally have been shopping around the different markets and various other sources to sort out my ingredients and make sure that I consistently have nothing but the freshest and the best products for sale.”

His hard work has not gone unnoticed. Local social media is exploding with the praises of his offerings.

“Great food, made to order and fresh. The lunch specials with soup, salad and a sandwich are an amazing deal for a large amount of food. We will be back,” Nancy Myers of Aguanga said.

“First thing that comes to mind is ‘meaty and filling,’” Michelle Aarvig of Anza said. “There is no shortage of food, and for the price, it’s well worth it.”

My experience at the Gypsy Kitchen was pleasant and gastronomically enjoyable. I ordered the pastrami on a hoagie roll, equipped with a sliced dill pickle and a generous amount of cheese and garnished with a huge dill pickle spear. The bread was fresh, the thinly sliced pastrami of excellent quality with zero gristle. It seemed no expense was spared, right down to include the great quality cheese and pickle. Fresh means a lot to diners, and Udarbe has it all dialed in.

“My favorite creation hands down has to be the Anthony Bill,” and actually I didn’t create it. Uncle Anthony unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago, but I was making a pastrami sandwich one day and remembered that my uncle used to love pastrami when I was working at another deli in Long Beach. He ordered his in a particular way; therefore, I decided it needed to be on my menu. So we have a half pound pastrami sandwich called the Anthony Bill, the legendary sandwich named after a legendary dude.”

Daily specials are featured and include soup, chips and a salad. Each sandwich is patiently created by Udarbe in the spotless kitchen located inside the Cahuilla Mountain Market. Prices are reasonable and range from $6.99 to $11.99.

Udarbe was approached by Cahuilla Mountain Market owner Jorge Rodriguez about opening a deli-style restaurant at that location. He immediately agreed and “went shopping that night, and I was in business the very next day.”

“If you’re looking for something new, fresh and very reasonable to satisfy your daily cravings on the Hill, it’s here and here to stay.” Rodriguez said. “Y’all come out and see Brian ‘the Gypsy’ James Udarbe. You will definitely be pleasantly surprised at the outstanding menu Brian has available.”

Udarbe is very sincere and philosphical about his new business.

“Perseverance is key in life. I’ve learned through hard lessons one needs to persevere in order to succeed in any venture and in any level in life. I believe not only am I going to succeed in this venture, but it’s going to teach me how to be the man that I tried to be and failed for so many years due to personal demons and other  issues I had going on for too long. ‘Open up your heart for a new start, life is an art so get your colors and paint your canvas.’”

The Gypsy Kitchen is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Take out and call-in orders are welcome.

For more information, feel free to call Brian Udarbe at the Gypsy Kitchen at (951) 763-4227.

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