Michael and Tresa Nicholas opened the <a href=”http://www.ilovenydeli.com/index.html” target=”_blank”>New York Strip Steak House and Deli</a> in Preston eight years ago. In a small community that is predominately LDS, their little slice of New York is steeped in Jewish-quality cuisine and Tresa said it’s become a tradition for both locals and tourists.
“We get a lot of people from out of town. We feel good about that too because they’ll drive all the way here,” Tresa said. “We get a lot of people from Logan that drive up for a hamburger. If you travel to Yellowstone you’re going right through town. We get a lot of customers who say, ‘You know, we go to Yellowstone every year and we have to stop and eat.’”
Michael is from Connecticut and has loved cooking since he was three years old.
“I’ve always loved food,” Michael said. “I remember [being] three years old and making salt and pepper ice cubes and was so excited for my dad to come home from work and to try them out that I could not go to sleep.”
He said the ice cubes are not on the menu but their food was inspired by other delis like <a href=”https://www.katzsdelicatessen.com/” target=”_blank”>Katz Delicatessen</a> in the Big Apple who are known for their corned beef and pastrami sandwiches.
“We do our corn beef, we do our pastrami we do our briquette we do our roast beef it’s all whole muscle its’ not injected with chemicals,” Michael said. “I don’t do any injecting like the barbecue competition does, it’s all Jewish style. It’s not heavily smoked, it’s lightly kissed.”
Michael said their deli is unique in that they have sandwich styles from New York to Washington. Their Seattle Sandwich is a hoagie bun that has a seasoned cream cheese spread, bacon, fresh grilled to order smoked salmon and is dressed with lettuce, tomato and avocado.
Tresa said both of them were going from Macy’s grocers in Providence, where they both worked, to Preston to run their restaurant.
“We decided, ‘Well, that’s garbage – we gotta stay here, we gotta be in town,'” Tresa said. “And so then I had a lot of retail experience too, and so we decided I could do the customer part of it and he can do the cooking part of it and it’s always worked.”
“What she’s saying,” Michael said. “Is she’s people friendly…”
“I love people,” Tresa said.
“…and I’m more rough and grough and not so much,” Michael said.
Not to be outdone by her husband Michael, who does all the cooking, Tresa uses family recipes to make the deli’s desserts that include everything from cookies to, what else, New York style cheesecake.