We’re on the precipice of March — which means, theoretically, that I’ll start my 2013 fitness training program in earnest as soon as the days grow longer and warmer.

So when I strutted into Doughboy’s Deli in Westbrook, I went in with something of a “last hoorah” mentality. Hey, if the rationalization fits, I say wear it. But it will be my sweatpants that will surely have the last laugh in a few weeks.

Wow, Doughboy’s is one hopping joint. There was a steady stream of foot traffic, and the phone was ringing off the hook with smart people calling ahead.

Before perusing the menu, my eyes fixed upon the specials board. Beef stew was on there ($3.99 for 12 ounces; $4.99 for 16 ounces), and I almost settled on that. Then I saw the other special, and although I knew it wasn’t for me, it was an impressive offering. For $9, there was a crazy sandwich called Evil Empire, which is steak with pepperjack cheese, capicola, onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Mama mia!

Menu in hand, I stepped off to the side and scanned the long lists of cold and hot sandwiches, wraps, salads, dinners and stuffed breads. The cold sandwiches come in small, large or wrap sizes. Prices range from $3.25 to $7.50, and some of the choices are prosciutto, corned beef, chicken salad, three-meat classic Italian and tuna salad.

The bread list is also worth mentioning. You can get your sandwich on a hoagie roll, bulkie roll, white, wheat or spinach wrap and white, wheat or dark rye bread.

Moving over to the hot sandwich list, those prices range from $4.25 to $8. A partial list includes corned beef, meatball Parmesan, boneless hot wing sub, haddock tender sub, cheeseburger sub and a Reuben.

I settled on a small chicken tender sub ($5.50) and a small side of fries ($2.50). About 10 minutes later, I was on my way, determined to make it back to the office before diving in. As if.

I had barely turned around before I tore into the fries. They were hot, crispy, salty and perfect. There was also an absolute ton of them, which I’m moderately embarrassed to say were polished off by the time I parked in the lot near the office. It was like a bottomless box of fries, and apparently my stomach also had no bottom.

I never did make it back into the office with food. Instead, I put a good CD on and ate the sandwich in my car with a window partially rolled down.

The chicken tender sub was sensational. The chicken was indeed quite tender, and despite being deep-fried, it had a real freshness to it. This is a notable also: Instead of the oft-used dreaded shredded lettuce or wilted iceberg, Doughboy’s uses fresh mixed greens. What a difference it made. Delicious.

Here are two more things you should know about Doughboy’s Deli. First, the menu also includes several dinner baskets ranging in price from $6.25 to $8.25. Choices include clam cakes, haddock tenders, boneless hot wings and hamburgers, among other tempting items.

The other fabulous fact about Doughboy’s is that it serves breakfast, and that menu includes omelets, breakfast sandwiches and wraps, and French toast. Prices range from $2.25 to $6.49.

The staff of GO anonymously samples meals for about $10.


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