from Mt. Rushmore, in six miles you’ll come to the town of Keystone, SD. In the late 1800’s, mining for gold was the town’s industry. Today, Keystone mines for tourists.
Two "nuggets" from the mother lode are shown in this photo. The person on the left is taking a photo of the two people in the center of the photo. Not only are they standing in the middle of the street, but they are draped over the sign that reads something like: "South Dakota law. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalk." So, two drivers await for the photographer to decide the right moment to capture the two in the crosswalk so that they can complete their short walk to the sidewalk.
Tripadvisor.com lists seventeen restaurants in this town with a population of only 337. But this isn’t a surprise, since Keystone is the closest town to Mt. Rushmore. However, looking for a spot for lunch was no easy task. But then I stumbled upon a listing for Teddy’s (as in Roosevelt) Deli and reviews like this one from Heather M. on local yohoo.com: “After eating at a few of the "Family Restaurants" in Keystone and realizing that they had horrible food and were extremely over priced, I was starting to become disillusioned. Then I noticed Teddy's Deli across from our hotel… Just like Teddy Roosevelt was the ‘working man's friend’, Teddy's Deli is the ‘Vacationer's Friend’ with wonderful service, great food, and outstanding prices.“
And there was this from giulietta on tripadvisor.com: “Loved, loved, loved this place. I do not eat meat or cheese and often don't wat mayo in my tuna salad so sometimes it's a bit hard for me to find a sandwich place I like. Unlike most other places, Teddy's does not pre-mix its tuna salad. They take a whole can of tuna and prepare it however you like—in my case, with a little bit of olive oil.”
Realizing that the descriptor “deli” is loosely used outside of the deli capitals of the U.S., i.e. major East Coast cities, the idea of a pastrami sandwich had a certain appeal. Teddy’s is another no-frills operation. You contemplate the menu posted above the order counter, give your order to the—in this case—friendly young man behind the counter, find a seat and await the arrival of your lunch.
Choices abound. Teddy’s offers six types of breads from Wheat Montana, eight meats, five cheeses, nine spreads, and eleven veggies and lets you be the architect of your sandwich. Or you can order one of the “signature” creations: the Bully Melt with roast beef and Swiss melt on sourdough; the Chicken Bacon Ranch with sharp cheddar; and the Cajun Chicken Melt with fajita chicken with a blend of Cajun spices, tomatoes, and pepper jack cheese. Or you can order a burger, a hot dog (Nathan’s Famous), or homemade buffalo chili. And then there is the one-pound Reuben and, our choice, the one-pound Teddy.
We decided to share the sandwich with an order of fries and an order of potato salad. (You know that Chuck was eating this lunch by the double potato order). The fries were your standard crinkle fries, but they came lightly dusted with seasoning. The potato salad (not pictured) was delicious and contained pieces of red skin-on potatoes and finely diced onion in a sour cream based dressing.
The Teddy comes with sliced pastrami, caramelized onions, provolone cheese, and the deli’s special Teddy Sauce on marble rye. The meat was sliced a little thick (by East Coast standards), but this was my only complaint about this scrumptious sandwich. The brining seasonings perfumed the tender and moist pastrami. The provolone was appropriately creamy and stringy. The marble rye was crisp from grilling. And bringing this all together was the amazing Teddy Sauce.
The sauce was so good that I approached the nice young man behind the counter (after waiting while a woman placed a take-out order for fourteen sandwiches) to find out how it was made. Well, it seems that this is a closely guarded secret, so all he would tell me was that it started with balsamic vinegar. (Maybe he isn’t so nice after all.)
Teddy’s was busy the entire time with diners either eating inside, on the patio, or taking their meals to go. And we could see why after our 4.0 Addie lunch.
On our way out of Keystone, we passed the first schoolhouse,
an old mine,
and these other buildings.