Planning a trip to a specific area of the state solely to enjoy a meal isn’t something most of us do on a regular basis. But that’s exactly what happens when the mental image of the juicy sandwiches, overflowing poboys, and, certainly not least, crispy homemade chips and tangy dipping sauce served at Broma’s Deli in Brookhaven come to mind. Picture a chain deli on steroids and you’ll come close to an accurate picture of the restaurant that somehow manages to create food that’s bigger, fresher and dare I say it? - better than any deli I’ve visited since Olde Tyme Deli in Jackson went out of business.
I was introduced to the family-owned Broma’s several years ago while working for Copiah-Lincoln Community College in nearby Wesson. Lunch plans often included a trip across county lines to Brookhaven to dine at Broma’s. After a couple of Broma-less years, last week I had a legitimate reason to go to Brookhaven. Factoring in time for lunch at Broma’s was part of my game plan. If you’re in or near southwest Mississippi, I can safely say a visit to one of Broma’s two locations won’t disappoint.
Locals Donnie Mitchell and Keith White opened the first Broma’s Deli in 2002 just off Interstate 55 in Brookhaven. The following year, they moved into McComb at the city’s Edgewood Mall. The owners combined years of restaurant and food experience to create a deli that was a cut above the rest in terms of service, ambiance and food quality. Surprisingly, they’ve survived in a challenging food industry and, in my opinion, have only gotten better.
When I stepped into Broma’s spacious interior highlighted with high ceilings, touches of tin, and ceiling fans, it was just as I remembered. One thing had changed, though: the menu. It was filled with even more sandwiches, salads, burgers, and entrees than I remembered. Thankfully, Broma’s homemade chips and dipping sauce had survived. However, I had to search to find my favorite sandwich from past visits, the Natchez Avenue French dip.
It’s a gigantic sandwich filled with tender roast beef, melted provolone cheese and dressing stuffed into New Orleans French bread with a side of hot au-jus. As tempted as I was to order my go-to sandwich, it was time to try something new.
In honor of my visit falling on Fat Tuesday, a muffaletta was in order. I knew I’d made the right choice when a huge muffaletta bun filled to overflowing with smoked ham, Genoa salami, melted provolone, and olive salad arrived at my table. Cutting it into quarters was the only way I could manage to take the first bite. That’s how plentiful the stacks of meat and cheese were on this sandwich that could easily be a meal for two. Along with a huge pile of Broma’s chips and dipping sauce, it was a meal fit for the Creole holiday.
There’s no way to list each of the items on Broma’s menu – that’s how extensive it is – so a quick rundown will have to suffice.
For starters, there’s a Broma’s basket filled with the restaurant’s famous chips, bacon, melted cheeses, and dipping sauce, nacho basket, chili basket, and snack board filled with Broma’s three chicken salads and pimento cheese served with cheese sticks and crackers. Any of these delicious baskets would suffice as a meal.
There’s also a choice of three loaded potatoes – Mac Daddy, Cheesy Mama, and Sloppy Joe – as well as three varieties of chicken salad – traditional, grapes and walnuts, or pecans and dried cranberries.
Other salads include grilled or fried chicken, taco, house, grilled salmon, grilled chicken Caesar, fried green tomatoes and shrimp, Cobb, and a trio plate of three salads.
And now, for the sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and melts. Sandwiches include the Whitworth Club, Blvd. Reuben, Ole Brook Chicken, Philly Steak, Fried Seafood Pobboy, fried green tomato BLT, Pollo Loco Club, The Big Easy, Kickin’ Chicken, The Peak, blackened salmon, blackened shrimp pita, grilled pimento cheese, and Flying Pig.
If you prefer a wrap, choices include the Santa Fe, grilled salmon, turkey, and chicken Caesar and come encased in either tomato basil, wheat, or spinach wraps.
Other possibilities are the Broma’s burger and specialty smokehouse burger, along with turkey, chicken, and patty melts.
Entrees on the menu are fried and grilled chicken strips with dipping sauces, hamburger steak with sides, fish and chips, and teriyaki salmon.
A variety of sides including potato, pasta, green and broccoli salads, coleslaw, fruit, baked potato, and soup can be ordered if you’re not in the mood for Broma’s famous chips – but after sampling them, I can’t imagine that happening!
Homemade cookies, brownies, cake, and pie are perfect choices to top off a memorable Broma’s meal or to take home.
Broma’s in Brookhaven is located at 1203 Hampton Drive. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday, 10:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
In McComb, Broma’s is located at 1722 Veterans Blvd. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. and until 6 p.m. on Sunday.