Tasty and unique food on the go


Cayla Fronhofer

Deli case offerings

Gas stations and convenience stores are vital to travel, especially in a state with so much distance between towns, but they aren’t usually known for their quality food products. In a landscape of cold, pre-made gas station subs, The Cupboard Deli and Bakery in Jeffersonville stands out.

Positioned on route 15, next door to The Family Table, The Cupboard is easy to find. Although you could go to the Subway at the Mobil if you’re in need of a meal on the go, for only a few dollars more you can wander into the red-sided building across the road and experience a variety of unique wraps and sandwiches.

I was first introduced to the wraps of The Cupboard a few years ago when my mom got a job working the counter. The first time she brought back a shepherd’s pie wrap, I was hooked. It was a surprisingly tasty thing to put in a wrap, and I appreciated the tight wrapping style that made it easy to eat on the go without the filling falling out all over the place.

In addition to the shepherd’s pie wrap, the deli has a multitude of varieties like BBQ chicken, hot pastrami and chicken parmesan, as well as more specialized options like Taste of Vermont and Nick’s Chicken. While they tend to keep the more popular flavors in stock, some of them circulate in and out and won’t always be available.

Since living in Johnson, I’ve been able to visit The Cupboard more often. Most times I’ll still get the shepherd’s pie wrap, but on my most recent visit I decided to branch out and try a sandwich.

I went for the stuffed turkey sandwich, of which there was only one left in the case. The tag in front of it listed its ingredients of turkey, stuffing, cranberry, mayo and cream cheese on wheatberry bread.
Whenever you ask for something out of the generously stocked deli case, you’ll be asked if you want it heated or — if it’s a sandwich — toasted. I like this option, because it combines the speed of buying something pre-made with the warm goodness of something freshly made. I’ve never had a sandwich that isn’t better when the bread has a bit of a crunch.

The stuffed turkey sandwich was no exception. The crunch of toasted bread was necessary to balance the smooth, creamy texture of the cream cheese and mayo.

Even as someone who loves cream cheese almost anywhere, I was wary of its inclusion in what seemed to basically be a Thanksgiving dinner sandwich. Luckily for my taste buds, my hesitance was unwarranted. Although a little bit odd initially, the cream cheese worked well to cut the bitterness of the cranberry and served as a kind of glue to keep the rest of the ingredients together.

In addition to the large deli case, The Cupboard Deli and Bakery lives up to its name with an equally well-stocked case of baked goods. Offering a variety of cookies, whoopie pies and dessert bars, it’s a great way to add a touch of something sweet to your meal.

With this particular dinner, I decided to grab an apple crisp bar. Its thin pie crust base and apples that were exactly as soft as I like in my apple pie made for a delightful mix of textures and flavors, and the crumble on top had just the right amount of cinnamon.

One of my friends opted for a maple cheesecake bar. Although she seemed to enjoy it, I was disappointed to find that it didn’t seem to be made with real maple syrup, instead offering that distinct flavor of “pancake syrup.” However, the cheesecake itself was wonderfully creamy, which almost made up for the fake maple flavor.

A well-rounded meal always requires a beverage of some kind. The convenience store half of The Cupboard offers the standard variety of sodas and juices, plus a few more local options. I decided to try a new flavor of Hubert’s Lemonade, a brand that I’ve only ever found at The Cupboard, although I’m sure it exists elsewhere. This one was blackberry lemonade, which was very good but didn’t top my favorite flavor: blood orange.

If you want a side dish to add to your meal, the deli also offers pasta salads and other prepared dishes in its deli case. Alternatively, you could head over to the convenience store side and pick up some chips, crackers or other pre-packaged snacks.

When it came time to ring up my purchase, the sandwich, apple crisp bar and lemonade came to $11.15, which seemed a very reasonable price for such quality food.

Whether you’re just passing through and need to grab a meal while you fill up your fuel tank or you’re looking for a nearby and fairly inexpensive meal, The Cupboard is a nice, local option for friendly service and a variety of tasty food.