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CROSS KEYS DELI Village Food Center in...


CROSS KEYS DELI Village Food Center in Cross Keys Village. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. (410) 323-8330. Fax: (410) 323-6502. One of the most popular traditions at the Cross Keys Deli is the fried chicken platter. For the past 19 years, the Deli's generous helpings of chicken, Western fries and cole slaw have enlivened my last-minute picnics and Friday night collapses.

These days, a chicken platter goes for $3.99 for the chicken breast and $3.89 for the chicken leg. The deli also offers delicious side dishes of macaroni and cheese and escalloped apples, each large serving is $1.89. (Both the macaroni and cheese and apples are made by Stouffers.)

I've also grown fond of the chicken salad sandwich -- large hunks of chicken, light on the mayonnaise, $4.25. The chicken salad platter, for $6.15, includes two choices of other salads, vegetables or fries.

The deli covers a wide variety of food: egg rolls, onion rings, Reubens, hot pastrami sandwiches, extra large kosher hot dogs, shrimp and salmon salad platters, daily specials and platters for children.

One of the pleasures of visiting comes in sampling treats from other departments of the store, such as the fresh salad bar or the frozen yogurt stand. Or the candy shop. Or the bakery, an island of pleasure completely worthy of its own carryout review.

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