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What's Cookin' Behind the Curtain - A Deli-cious Way to Spend a Ditch Day

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Every Friday, LAist is taking you on a trip down to Orange County to uncover the unique dining experiences that await adventurous eaters willing to explore beyond the county line.

The daily grind of life can be a drag. And every so often, you need a place to blow off steam and forget about your worries for a little while. Tired soul, meet your rejuvenator – thy name is Hollingshead’s Delicatessen.

Now you’re thinking, who in their right mind would go to a deli to charge the batteries? Well, Hollingshead’s is no ordinary deli. Although Hollingshead’s has certain European-style deli tendencies, with sandwiches full of high-quality meats and cheeses, and other assorted imported food products, it’s also part beer boutique. It features more than 350 different styles of specialty beers, 15 frequently rotated taps across the spectrum of styles, and a small bar counter. But beyond the good food and beverage, it’s a place where regulars go to hang out, and the help treats you like family. It’s part Cheers, part Central Perk, part Monk’s Café.

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Based in an Orange strip mall since opening in 1963, Hollingshead’s is family-owned and operated, with three generations of Hollingshead family members still working behind the counter or bussing tables. As native Wisconsinites (as evidenced by the wall-to-wall Green Bay Packer memorabilia, including green bar stools with yellow trim and ceiling posters of Brett Favre), they bring their Midwest friendliness to their customers: you can always count on a warm smile and conversation, as they enjoy visiting with patrons and catching up on life. And since they offer personalized beer mugs for their frequent visitors, it’s always a place where everybody knows your name.