Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Katie Ayoub
November 19, 2019

Traditional American deli fare has seen its share of culinary love recently, propelled by nostalgia and comfort, certainly, but also by a continuing demand for innovation around handhelds. “Portability is still a huge trend in foodservice,” says RJ Harvey, director of culinary with Potatoes USA.

“The flavors in these classic deli sandwiches have never really gone out of style because the ingredient combinations and balance of textures work so well together. They’re perfect vehicles for modern updates because of that built-in crave factor.”

Harvey offers his spin on the Reuben sandwich in this Hash Brown “Spudwich.” He subs out the rye bread with crisp-fried hash browns, topping it with everything bagel spice for added finesse. “The benefit of potatoes as a carrier goes beyond a gluten-free alternative to bread,” he explains. “The crispy texture delivers a stark contrast to the tender and creamy fillings that are typically in these sandwiches.”

In this particular build, the hash browns play counterpoint to tender slices of pastrami (or turkey for the Rachel), creamy Thousand Island dressing and tangy sauerkraut. “Potatoes are traditionally served as a side dish with deli sandwiches, whether it be fries, chips or potato salad,” says Harvey.

“With this update, the potato is cast into a starring role, allowing diners to get that same deli experience—all in one bite.”

About The Author


Katie Ayoub is managing editor of Flavor & The Menu. She has been working in foodservice publishing for more than 16 years and on the Flavor team since 2006. She won a 2015 Folio award for her Flavor & The Menu article, Heritage Matters. In 2006, she won “Best Culinary Article” from the Cordon D’Or for an article on offal.