Moab has made its mark
in adventure tourism and consequently attracts plenty of
visitors who come to enjoy majestic scenery while hiking,
biking, and four-wheeling. All this activity makes people
hungry. While there are plenty of options for dining in
town, there wasn’t much beyond fast food chains for
packing meals on the trail. Bob and Shelly Busch quickly
noticed this gap and have filled a valuable niche to anyone
who enjoys the Moab trails and gets hungry doing so.
April, Bob and Shelly opened the Moab Deli, a small family-run
sandwich shop decorated in Fifties style, just in time for
Jeep Safari. The restaurant is located next door to Farabee
Jeep Rentals, owned by Shelly’s dad. Having family
in Moab was a draw when the Busches were considering moving
away from their home in California, seeking to join a smaller
community. Shelly sold Bob on the idea of setting up shop
in Moab after taking him on his first four-wheelin’
experience up Poison Spider.
He liked it so much that he not only agreed that this was
the place to live, but also decided that the Poison Spider
waterfall was the place that they should get married. They
did so on April 2 of last year, on a rare break during the
hustle and bustle of getting the deli ready for opening
day. Their lives are inextricably entwined with their enterprise.
most obvious (and reassuring) proof that there is no clear
delineation between work and life for Bob and Shelly is
that they “test-run” all their creations themselves.
Avid adventurers, they bring along Moab Deli Trail Pacs
on their own outings, tasting and testing to see how well
the sandwiches hold up, stay fresh and satisfy after a long
morning of rough and rugged trail riding. The Busches have
come up with an original way of packing the Trail Pacs,
which include a full or half sandwich, chips, a drink and
a cookie, that insulates the meal and retains freshness,
while still fitting into a cooler, daypack or Camelback.
Although Trail Pacs are the mainstay of the business, Bob
and Shelly offer many services, including catering. They
can handle large groups, making it easy and quick for them
to arrange lunch. They also provide lunch for office meetings,
and promote calling ahead by adding a free cookie to the
order. Soon, the Busches plan on adding a delivery service.
Not everybody chooses to take out their sandwich. The deli
is clean and bright and offers a pleasant place to enjoy
lunch either at a counter looking out a large window or
a patio table outside. Shelly’s daughter, Michelle,
helps her parents run the deli and the ambiance is exactly
what you’d expect from a Mom-’n-Pop deli, including
pickled eggs and cucumbers on the counter.
Shelly is a well-organized, bubbly person, who is easy to
talk to. She and Bob are also very good listeners. Over
the last year, they really paid attention to suggestions
their customers made and have shifted the business around
accordingly. Their motto is “We create for you. If
we have it, we will make it!” And since their selection
of items from breads to cheeses, from meats to condiments
is extensive, there’s not much that they can’t
are seven original sandwiches on the menu, starting with
the most popular, the Turkey which includes cream cheese,
cranberry sauce, Swiss cheese, sunflower seeds, avocado,
sprouts, mayo and lettuce. The Italian, Roast Beef, Ham,
Club, Pastrami and Vegetarian were all inspired by the Busch
family palettes. If they like the taste of something, it
got added to the menu. Sandwich fillings like tuna salad
and egg salad are available and made when ordered to guarantee
freshness. All this attentiveness pays in repeat business.
Shelly says that one of the most enjoyable aspects of running
the deli is getting to know customers by name. Some people
come in so regularly that she has their sandwich already
made by the time they get out of their car and come into
the store. The best compliment Bob and Shelly got, however,
was witnessing one man place his hearty sandwich on his
lap and then take out a camera to immortalize it.
Because lunch was so popular, Bob and Shelly decided to
offer breakfast as well. The morning at the deli can start
with breakfast sandwiches, burritos, biscuits, and croissants
as well as coffee and tea.
Considering the quick success the Moab Deli started off
with last year, this new season promises to be a bang. That’s
great news for Bob and Shelly, but even better for the hordes
of adventurers enjoying our rugged trails and magnificent
landscapes. It takes a great deal of energy to get out there
so it’s important to replace it. And what better way
than with “a hearty sandwich for the extreme adventure,”
as the Moab Deli accurately bills itself.
Bob & Shelly’s Moab
Deli is located at 397 North Main Street, #3 (next to Farabee
Jeeps) and can be reached at 259-0636 (call ahead for your
free cookie!). They are open daily from 7:30a.m. to 4:00p.m.
Trail Pacs range in price from $6.95 to $8.50 and Kid’s
Pacs (for 12 and under) are $3.95.
Recipe of the Month
1 cup par cooked potatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
Small handful of fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup bell pepper, diced or sliced
2 slices Provolone cheese
Avocado and Salsa (optional)
Sautee in a little olive oil potatoes,
red onion and mushrooms until tender.
Add spinach and bell peppers and
cook until they are also tender.
Scramble the eggs and pour them
over the mixture of vegetables.
Cook until the eggs are set.
Add the provolone and continue
cooking until the cheese melts.
Place the vegetable mixture in
a warm tortilla,
Add avocado and salsa and wrap.