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Duffy's Deli

2324 Whitesburg Drive, Huntsville, AL - (256) 533-4179
Posted By Mike Stroud on 9/23/2011 9:40:00 AM
One of the hidden delights of America's "Rocket City" lies just south of Huntsville Hospital and the so-called "medical district." The reason many people are apt to pass it by is because it is located in a nearly 100-year-old house. One has to look carefully for a rectangular, Pepsi-sponsored sign on the west side of Whitesburg Drive in the midst of boutiques, professional offices, and the like. But inside Duffy's Deli, the hungry customer will find a selection of sandwiches and soups that will make him or her feel like he or she has found an oyster in the rough.

White chili is the specialty of the house. The owners claim to sell gallons upon gallons of it on cold days. Full of beans, chicken, and a clear broth, and covered with white cheese, it cannot be beat as a lunch-time pick-me-up. The tortilla soup is somewhat spicier. About 30 different sandwiches are offered, along with "baskets" of chicken, catfish, or shrimp. Of course, for the light eaters, there are the customary salads.

But the best thing to do is make it simple and order a cup or bowl of white chili and pair it with a sandwich. In the wintertime especially, this is a clearly winning combination. This reviewer chose corned beef, after being told that pastrami was not being served anymore because the owners could not get the best quality available on a consistent basis.

The decor is wooden, pub-like, with a full array of Alabama and Auburn football memorabilia and a sports-bar-like arrangement of two big-screen TV sets, usually tuned to ESPN. This makes it ideal for Saturday afternoons in the fall. Come in, spoon down a bowl of white chili, munch on a sandwich, and knock down some cold ones while rooting for the home team.

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
white chili
"Create Your Own" sandwiches
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This photo does not do justice to the true richness of the white chili. The broth may be a little too clear for some tastes, but that's in order to let the chicken, beans, and other sumptuous ingredients shine through.
"This photo does not do justice to the true richness of the white chili. The broth may be a little too clear for some tastes, but that's in order to let the chicken, beans, and other sumptuous ingredients shine through."
Mike Stroud





A good mix of Northern deli flair and down-home Southern munchies: a ''Create Your Own'' corned beef on white, bolstered by a dill pickle and a bag of the Birmingham-based Golden Flake potato chips, an Alabama favorite from the days when Crimson Tide  Coach ''Bear'' Bryant pushed them on his Sunday football TV show.
"A good mix of Northern deli flair and down-home Southern munchies: a ''Create Your Own'' corned beef on white, bolstered by a dill pickle and a bag of the Birmingham-based Golden Flake potato chips, an Alabama favorite from the days when Crimson Tide Coach ''Bear'' Bryant pushed them on his Sunday football TV show."
Mike Stroud


Very simple in nature and not heavily seasoned, allowing the beans and chicken to shine through, the white chili is truly a work of art. What really ties this whole dish together is the generous amount of cheese in it.
"Very simple in nature and not heavily seasoned, allowing the beans and chicken to shine through, the white chili is truly a work of art. What really ties this whole dish together is the generous amount of cheese in it."
Dave O'Ball


Some hail the Duffyburger as Huntsville’s best. As of yet, I‘ve found none better. There's a great beef taste in this hand-formed and flattop (ahhhh) griddled burger. Topped with cheese on a nice fluffy bun, it’s simply great.
"Some hail the Duffyburger as Huntsville’s best. As of yet, I‘ve found none better. There's a great beef taste in this hand-formed and flattop (ahhhh) griddled burger. Topped with cheese on a nice fluffy bun, it’s simply great."
Dave O'Ball


They get a simple cheesecake from a local bakery and deep-fry wedges. They top it with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Fantastic.
"They get a simple cheesecake from a local bakery and deep-fry wedges. They top it with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Fantastic."
Dave O'Ball


The meats in a Baron really complement, rather than compete with, each other. What really makes this sandwich, though, is the nice deli mustard. There's just enough to add some character but not so much as to take over the whole thing. The Baron is ordinarily served on rye.
"The meats in a Baron really complement, rather than compete with, each other. What really makes this sandwich, though, is the nice deli mustard. There's just enough to add some character but not so much as to take over the whole thing. The Baron is ordinarily served on rye."
Dave O'Ball


The lady behind the counter is apparently a co-owner of Duffy's Deli with her husband.  She says the house is about 100 years old, while the business itself goes back to about 1973--a long time before delis were trendy.
"The lady behind the counter is apparently a co-owner of Duffy's Deli with her husband. She says the house is about 100 years old, while the business itself goes back to about 1973--a long time before delis were trendy."
Mike Stroud


A converted residence, Duffy's Deli is a good, comfortable, old-fashioned home-style place where one can relax at lunchtime during a busy day at the nearby hospital or other medical offices.
"A converted residence, Duffy's Deli is a good, comfortable, old-fashioned home-style place where one can relax at lunchtime during a busy day at the nearby hospital or other medical offices."
Mike Stroud


One has to look while driving along the busy Whitesburg Drive south of downtown to spot Duffy's Deli.  The best approach is to eye the blue sign.
"One has to look while driving along the busy Whitesburg Drive south of downtown to spot Duffy's Deli. The best approach is to eye the blue sign."
Mike Stroud



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