The Coast News Group
Lick the Plate

Moonlight Beach Deli & Dogs at Encinitas Chevron an unexpected delight

Most people’s first impression of gas station food is that of pre-packaged, processed impulse buys that usually occur as the result of a road trip or late night munchies. And for good reason as that is usually the case.
That all changed for me recently when I walked into the Encinitas Chevron waiting for my car to be washed.
First off, it’s like a mini-mart on steroids with an amazing selection of beer, wine and just about every energy drink on the market along with a 65” flat screen TV and free Wi-Fi.
Then, as I ventured over toward the register, I noticed a full-on deli with a breakfast, sandwich, wrap, hot dog, smoothie and frozen yogurt board that made me wish I had ordered the super deluxe wash and wax so I had more time to explore this menu. By the way, the sandwich menu includes a Cuban, more on that later.
There is also a grab and go section with a nice variety of offerings made fresh daily.
I happened to bump into Corinne Hackbart who owns the Encinitas Chevron with her husband Dave and mentioned that I write about the local food scene and would love to come back to sample some of their deli offerings. Corrine was originally a nurse specializing in cardiology and Dave was a financial guru before they purchased the Uptown Touchless Car Wash in Hillcrest about 12 years ago. That led to the Encinitas Chevron purchase, which at the time was old and dated.
Since then they have turned it into one of the nicer gas station/car wash/delis around. Corrine had always wanted to run a deli and thought it would be a great combination to offer top of the line deli fare to motorists fueling up or getting a car wash.
Her concept has proven to be spot on. Both businesses, along with raising three teenage girls, keep Corinne and Dave very busy. The little time they have to go out is spent eating great food at restaurants that include Flemmings, Sushi Ota and Jakes. It’s good to know they are being influenced by quality establishments.
To ensure she had a pro running the deli, Corinne brought on Mary Geiselhart, who brought with her more than 30 years of food service including 20 of those running all of the North County Von’s delis. Mary definitely added her touch to the deli and is always adding specials to the menu while having fun naming her creations after customers whose special requests end up on the menu. Their emphasis is on the customer and special orders are welcomed. If it’s a good request, it’s been known to become a permanent part of the menu or a regular special.
Over the course of a few visits, I was able to sample a few sandwiches including the Soprano, which includes dry Italian salami, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, and olive oil and vinegar. I had it Panini style so it was all melted together beautifully. This is a mega sandwich and could easily be eaten in two sittings.
The same can be said of their Cuban sandwich, which again was enormous. I’ve mentioned my love for Cubans before and how they are common in the convenience stores of Miami and other cities with Cuban populations.
I’ve also sampled the hot dogs, including the chili dog, the bratwurst and the fire dog, which is infused with jalapeno peppers and packs a kick. The dogs are all Vienna Beef, which is a sure sign of quality and I enjoyed every one of them.
Having grown up on Coney Island and Skyline
chili dogs, it’s good to know there is a worthy local provider for my chili dog craving when it strikes.
The deli also includes a full salad and condiment bar and they are now offering a custom cooler packed with any deli items and beverages. This is a perfect for the beach, a picnic or a road trip. I’ve heard great things about the breakfast sandwiches including the breakfast bagel with cheese, eggs, ham, bacon and sausage. They recently added a great espresso bar with coffee drinks ranging from lattes to frappucinos.
Besides the amazing rib joint attached to the gas station in Kansas City I once experienced, I can’t think of a place like this that I would go if I was not getting a car wash or filling up my vehicle. The Encinitas Chevron and its Moonlight Beach Deli & Dogs has changed that and it really is worth checking out just for the deli. It’s really good food with a friendly, accommodating staff who make the whole experience very pleasurable.
Located at 350 Encinitas Boulevard, Moonlight Beach Deli & Dogs can also cater your office party or lunch meeting. Call (760) 942-6802 for details.


Charlotte September 20, 2010 at 11:23 am

Maybe its time for a new food reviewer ! After reading yours on Chevron Deli some time after I had occasion to be there for a car wash and decided to have a Polish sausage hot dog – bad choice. It appeared to have been taken out of deep freeze, maybe put in hot water, looked a kinda grey color and when cut open revealed frozen interior. The condiment counter was a buzzin with flies and no one appeared to be wearing gloves during sandwich preparation – needless to say it all went in the trash. I’m keeping an eye on you Dick and maybe applying for your job – my little dog was not impressed either ! But don’t get me started on the standard of hygiene in Encinitas eateries its a daily observance- the mind boggles to contemplate what’s happening behind the scenes.

ChrisKydd September 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I eat here all of the time and it is always clean and the food is great.
Maybe you should talk to the owner.

corinne hackbart September 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I am responding to the negative comment made about the polish dog and the lack of cleanliness at my deli. Our last suprise health inspection brought in a 98 out of 100. We have a very open deli so that all sees exactly how the food is prepared. We prefer not to wear gloves in that gloves gives a false sense of security. People wearing gloves feel they can touch anything, never change the gloves nor do they wash their hands. We wash our hands probably 30 times a shift. The only times one of us will wear a glove or gloves, is if we have an injury to our hands.

I am sorry for your bad experience, and pride our company from our car wash to our deli,that ifVE you are not happy let me know and I will make it right. We have always stood by that philosophy and continue to do so. I cannot make if better if you do not contact me directly. I hope you will revisit our deli and introduce yourself to me so I can make you happy. Corinne owner

David Boylan September 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience, I’m sure that happens from time to time in every restaurant. That said, I will stand by everything I wrote about the Moonlight Deli as that was the experience I had over a couple of visits.

chili dog September 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I’ve eaten here 3 times, based on this article and I for one liked the selection, the preparation and cleanliness of the place.
But I would tell anyone to NEVER try Thai Pasta on La Costa…good God, worst meal (tossed after 3 bites), they have absolutely no idea what Thai food is, and the worst part…illegals cooking!

Pea Brain November 3, 2014 at 11:29 am

Dear Chili Dog,
I’m impressed you checked the employees immigration papers during your carry out transaction at Thai Pasta.

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