Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Review: Black Sheep Deli

As you first walk up to The Black Sheep Deli of 79 Main St. Amherst, Mass you feel invited by its little hole-in-the-wall nature and its charming atmosphere with the shelves of bakery items displayed neatly in the windows and the crowd of customers waiting to indulge in one, or a few, of the many delicious items on the menu.

They bake all their own breads and pastries, using all natural ingredients and real butter, they offer a variety of side dishes made fresh daily (the Caramelized Cauliflower with garlic, olive oil, and parmesan is a great and healthy alternative to some of the heavier, yet equally delicious sides like Potatoes Dauphinoise, a potato dish layered with garlic, nutmeg, asiago cheese, and cream), as well as entrees such as deep dish quiches and macaroni and cheese. From the specialty sandwiches (3.95/half, 7.95/full) to the incredible selection of bakery items, as well as many other things, there is guaranteed to be something on the menu for everyone. The establishment also offers catering services with a wide selection of choices fit to please every palate.

When you go, be sure to try the specialty sandwich, the ”European,” which is chock full of black forest ham, brie, tomatoes, lettuce, and red onions, all on pumpernickel bread. Or, for a vegetarian option, the “Great Garlic” is to die for. They take a french baguette, spread it with a layer of incredibly creamy local goat cheese, then spread on whole caramelized garlic cloves, grilled portobellos, roasted red peppers and lettuce. They also offer the option to design your own sandwich by choosing your ideal freshly-baked bread and fillings at half sandwich and whole sandwich prices. And don’t worry…if there’s an ingredient on a specialty sandwich that you don’t like, or if you want it all just on a different type of bread, they’d be happy and willing to make any and all alterations to make sure you enjoy every last bite.

If you’re in the mood for something a little dangerous, opt for the Bittersweet Chocolate Espresso Torte, a melt-in-your-mouth, flourless chocolate torte with a hint of espresso flavor, that is covered in seasonal fruit (raspberries are the best) and home-made whipped cream. The great part about the cakes and pastries is that they can be bought individually, by the slice, or in larger quantities or whole cakes for events like parties.

They also offer a variety of iced teas and natural juices and soft drinks to wash it all down and, if in the winter months you’re looking for something to warm you up, they also carry a wide selection of freshly roasted coffees, various teas, as well as Chai and Mulled cider. They get very busy around lunch time, being nestled right in the heart of downtown Amherst between two colleges, so plan ahead if you only have a certain amount of time for a lunch break. If this is the case, you can call in your order ahead of time, and they will make it for you and have it ready as soon as you set foot in the door.

If you’re looking for a great place to eat, with an eclectic environment and a sprawling menu filled with only the best in homemade and local ingredients, the Black Sheep Deli is a must.

*All of the Black Sheep’s menus are available on their website listed above.


  1. Alex,

    The Black Sheep Deli sounds like a place I would like to try. I like trying places with unique food. You should be a food critic writer. Your descriptions of the restaurant and the foods makes you want to go there and to try their food.


  2. Hooray!! Finally someone to take all the guess work out of "wondering" if this place or that place is worth patronizing. I will certainly try the places mentioned here! You have a knack for writing reviews and I can't wait to see what's next! Western Massachusetts could use our own Phantom Gourmet and I think we've found her! Keep up the good work!

  3. "The Great Garlic" would be my favorite, even though I am not a vegetarian...What a great mix of ingredients...Yum!

  4. Yummm! I have consistently eaten every meal at the Black Horse since this post in February! So delicious!
    I start the day off with three large hot chocolates, 1 snickerdoodle, 2 eclairs, and (mmmmm) 1 whoopie pie. But ever since I broke up with my boyfriend its been 3 whoopie pies.

    For lunch, I tend to go for the mac&cheese but sometimes I try to be healthy and order the Brushfire Chicken sandwhich. Since two weeks ago Ive been eating 2 That's Italian sandwhichs a day--they are AMAZING!
    On the side you cant go wrong with a bag of BBQ potato chips. Yummers!

    Then after work I rush rush back to the Black Horse and order my dinner. There is nothing more satisfying than ending the day with one the Green Monster and a Triple Bypass sandwiches. And for dessert.... well... I tend to splurge, I usually order the Extreme Chocolate Cake and the Calliope Cake--TOTALLY THE BEST DESSERTS THERE!!

    Then usually I order two cups of yogurt and a fruit cup because yogurt and fruit helps loss weight--PSSHH my doc said I have to start worrying about my weight.... I said I am 45 and can eat anything I want... He's just jealous that he doesn't have such a sweet tooth:)

    Well, thanks again Alex for informing us about this hidden treasure. The 45 minute drive I have to make for each meal here is totally worth it! I love the Black Horse... it's Horrrr--ahhhh---ayyyyy!!! Splectacular!!