For our first meal out for 2021, my mother and I decided to pick up a meal from Mother Lode Market, Deli, and Catering, which we just call Mother Lode Market. We hadn’t been to Mother Lode Market in years, so we thought it was a good time to pick up some sandwiches for a midday lunch on January 7.
Three days before, I checked out the Mother Lode Market Facebook page to find out if I could pick up our lunch at the curb or if I had to go inside. I couldn’t find any, so I left a private Facebook message. They responded within 20 minutes and said I could call ahead to order and then park in front of the curb to pick up.
I found various photos of the menu boards on various menu websites including Yelp and Zmenu. A photo on the Yelp site gave me the idea to order a turkey bacon pesto panini. When I called Mother Lode Market to order, the friendly employee on the other end took my order as if he had filled it a hundred times before. (Maybe he has.)
I also asked him if they had egg salad, and once he said he confirmed that, I ordered an egg salad sandwich for my mother. The menu websites also recommended the macaroni salad, so I ordered a side of that for both of us.
When I arrived at the curb in front of Mother Lode Market at around 2:30 p.m., I called them and was greeted by a young woman’s cheerful “Hello!” I had to ask her to confirm I called Mother Lode Market, and when she did, I told her I was there to pick up my order. She knew exactly what my order was, and she was at my car window in about 30 seconds. After giving her my cash and getting my change, I was on my way home in about three minutes.
Our food was stored in a large paper bag. The sandwiches were wrapped in paper, and the macaroni salad was kept safe in a lidded Styrofoam cup.
The turkey bacon pesto panini is exactly what it sounds like: several slices of turkey, slices of bacon, and pesto sauce as the only condiment. I also added a slice of provolone, tomatoes, and onions. All these layers sat between slices of herb focaccia bread.
The bread itself had a crunchy shell on the outside and was soft on the inside. The shell made sure the bread stayed intact as I ate, and the softer inside made sure the bread was easy to eat. I could taste the herbs only faintly in each bite.
The sandwich should be called the bacon turkey pesto panini because the thick slices of smoked bacon provided the dominant taste of the sandwich throughout, with the turkey coming in second. I could barely taste the pesto sauce, and I had to eat a couple of small bites of bread with only the pesto sauce on it to discover that the sauce was quite mild.
The tomatoes and onions were mild, too. If I didn’t see the provolone cheese in the sandwich, I wouldn’t have known it was there because the taste of the bacon and the turkey were too strong for the cheese to compete.
The macaroni salad contained anelletti pasta (the small ringed pieces) with sweet pickles, celery, and onion. The entire salad was tossed in a mayonnaise blend that also tasted like it had salt, pepper, and a small amount of sugar. The pasta was fresh, the vegetables crispy, and the sauce had a mild sweet and spicy flavor.
My mother likes to have most of her sandwiches on sourdough bread, and that’s especially true with egg salad sandwiches. So, I ordered her egg salad sandwich with tomatoes, sweet pickles, and light mayonnaise between slices of sourdough bread.
The bread itself wasn’t toasted, but the bread was firm enough to stay together from the first bite to the last. The other thing my mother noted was the egg salad. Unlike Togo’s, which has a mushy egg salad that’s made elsewhere, my mother said you could taste individual pieces of egg. And the egg salad tasted like it had been made that day.
My mother also agreed with me about the taste of the macaroni salad, and there was enough salad in the medium-sized Styrofoam cup for both of us.
When we first bit into our sandwiches and took our first bites of macaroni salad, we immediately realized the difference between getting food from a chain like Togo’s or Subway and a deli like Mother Lode Market. The food was fresher, tastier, and more satisfying.
We happily bring out our green light for Mother Lode Market, Deli, and Catering, and we’ll go back.
The price for our sandwiches and macaroni salad was $21.65.
Want to Try Them?
Mother Lode Market, Deli, and Catering is open on Mondays through Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and they are closed on Sundays. They’re located at 36 Main Street in Jackson.
If you want to order, you can view the menu on the Zmenu website. You can eat in the restaurant per state guidelines, take out, or pick up at the curb. When you’re ready to order (and when you stop for curbside pickup), call them at 209-223-0652.
Amador Business Ticker food reviews are adventures in local dining with Editor Eric Butow and his mom.