By Janet Stoica
Look no further than Delray Doc’s Fruit & Deli to make your summer the best ever. “I’ve invested in a new and very large van,” said Owner Darek Mikucki. “This gives us the ability to stock and carry all that we need for backyard barbecues - one of our newer services.”
Darek and his crew will take their premium products and goods to your location and take care of all the details for your family gathering. They can handle pig roasts, lobster bakes, and barbecues of just about any type: turkey, ham, or ribs. Their experience has been honed over several summers and they’re ready to go. Mr. Mikucki says he has about 20 events booked so far for the summer season, so it might be a good idea not to wait much longer to call him for your event.
Delray Doc’s popular deli is in the Nipmuc Plaza at 31 Thompson Road in Webster. If you’re in the mood for a nice Italian sub, stop by. “We’ll make this on a nice fresh French or Italian bread or a sub roll,” said Darek. “We use five types of meats, imported ham, capicola, pepperoni, mortadella, and salami along with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sharp provolone and oil and vinegar. It’s one of our standard specials. You might enjoy it too!” A vegetarian sub includes fresh mozzarella, cucumber, spinach, and roasted red peppers. Or choose something made by the in-house baker or pierogi chef.
Delray Doc’s is a fresh vegetable and fruit stand too, complete with fresh lettuces, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, squash, celery, cabbage, carrots, pears, apples, lemons, limes—you get the idea. The store also carries a good selection of grocery staples.
Other items include fresh sausages, hot, mild, and sweet made by a local outfit named John and Son; fresh meats like steaks, chops, chicken, pork ribs, and marinated kebabs; fresh fruit squares such as apple, lemon, prune, apricot, and raspberry; house-made half-sour pickles; and surprise,
Darek also makes his own salsa, both hot and mild, with the store running through 10 gallons of these amazing blends every week.
The main draw, however, is the heavenly bouquet of what’s cooking today. This day, it happened to be corned beef & cabbage, roast turkey, and American chop suey. This is just a small sample of Darek’s daily specials for take-home meals.
“It’s not very hard to put these aromatic but simple meals together,” he says. “We prep them and start cooking very early. From Tuesday through Sunday we offer at least three hot meals for take-out and they’re available starting at 11 a.m. daily. Lunch portions are $7.99 plus tax and dinner portions are $9.99 plus tax. Our customers really enjoy them. One day we’ll have baked meatloaf, pot roast, and stuffed cabbage and another we’ll have spaghetti and meatballs or sausage, baked stuffed peppers, and shepherd’s pie.
“We’ve sharpened our menu over time to cook what our customers tell us they want. It’s worked out very well. No one has time to cook anymore it seems. Everyone’s working and commuting and being able to come into my store and get a real home-cooked meal is what they look forward to. We enjoy making our customers happy!”
Undeniably, it would be very hard to find a place like Darek’s that seems to have its fingers on the pulse of its customers. From his friendly smile and mannerisms to his wish to keep his customers coming back, it’s no wonder his establishment is so successful. He brims enthusiasm and a genuine cheerfulness that certainly transfers itself to his cooking.
He was proud to let me know that he is an exclusive purveyor of the Dietz & Watson brand of deli meats. As an aside, I have to mention here that one of my favorites, the D & W London Broil, is offered by Delray Doc’s and is priced lower than the local supermarket—and this is his everyday pricing. Makes you wonder what else is better priced here.
Now, enough about the extraordinary cuisine for a minute. Let’s get into Darek’s background and learn how he came to be the owner of Delray Doc’s. If you remember and/or ate at the Millbrook Diner at the corner of Gold Star Boulevard and Millbrook Street in Worcester, then you’ve probably experienced some of Darek’s mouthwatering food creations. He was the head chef at the Millbrook (since sold and torn down to make way for a Chick-Fil-A) and enjoyed cooking up his customers’ favorites.
Darek also knew the original owner of Delray Doc’s, Donald “Doc” Murdock, as he was a Millbrook customer as well as a frequent visitor to the Wachusett Country Club where Darek also catered. When Doc became ill, his family offered to sell the business to Darek and he’s been the owner for the past five years. “This was an incredible opportunity to build on the great success of the wonderful man who began this business,” said Darek. “My daughter and two sons, along with my wife, assisted in the changeover.” The business has thrived, averaging more than 200 customer visits daily.
Darek is involved with several charity events every year. He cooks and serves free meals for the Massachusetts State Police’s annual Wachusett Country Club event for both disabled children and those children who are survivors of police officer parents no longer with us. He donates sandwiches and salads to local schools as well as to fire and police departments, and regularly cooks up complete ham and turkey meals for the less fortunate.
Besides bringing barbecue to your home, the Delray Doc’s crew can cater any size party or event, including weddings, baptisms, graduations, anniversaries, and family reunions, and deliver everything from finger sandwiches to party and fruit platters to full meals that include prime rib roast and Norwegian baked salmon. They are open six days a week.
Delray Doc’s Fruit & Deli is at 31 Thompson Road, Nipmuc Plaza, Webster. Phone: 508-943-3303. www.delraydocsfruitanddeli.com. Hours: Tues-Fri 9-6 p.m., Sat. 9-.5 p.m., Sun. 9-3 p.m., closed Mondays.