Matters of Taste: Aspen Deli, a Casual Downtown Favorite | Food


Aspen’s lunchbox option packs a sandwich, side salad, and cookie, and won’t go over budget at $ 12.95. Downtown workers get a 10% discount.

Aspen Deli owner Carlos Turrieta poses with the reuben on marbled rye. Turrieta and his wife, Kris, bought the store two years ago.

Gail G. Collins

Carlos and Kris Turrieta bought the reporting store over two years ago to make a dream come true. The couple have extensive experience in the food industry, working in San Jose for the many stations on Microsoft’s food campus with daily menu changes, then NAU foodservice, as well as a stint for Kris with deli from Albertson. Carlos always wanted to run a small grocery store in a mountain town, and the move from full service to a manageable menu was in line with their goals.

After major changes and quick decisions on how to open and prepare food, they made their mark, despite the pandemic. Fortunately, deli products lend themselves to quick pickups.

“The sandwiches are great for trails, forest adventures, picnics and anything outdoors,” said Carlos. “The past year has also been a blessing, giving us more time with the locals, our base.”

During the week, the workers nearby are regulars. A gentleman orders Aspen Deli specialties, such as fried bologna or devil ham, six days a week. On weekends, tourists stop for a bite to eat, while the dog-friendly patio appeals to everyone.

Aspen aims for full flavors in a variety of scratch-off spreads, such as pesto or chipotle mayonnaise as a variation on standard sandwiches. A variety of sides are changed every week to keep it, “new and different or old and classic,” Carlos explained. For example, there is always potato salad, but it can vary from simple to barbecue or to lemon rosemary.

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