Timing means everything in a casino.  And when the slots are hot or the cards are hitting, players can’t just break away for a bite to eat. At Pala Casino Spa & Resort, the world is a lot simpler because Executive Chef Robert Camerota and Room Chef Gil Mares have created the perfect getaway for when time is of the essence, the Promenade Deli.

It’s convenient; right off the floor near the center of the casino, and the service is lightning-quick. “Most days, it’s a nosh a minute, “Chef Mares said. The menu is a deli Who’s Who, burgers and dogs, hot and cold sandwiches, the pizza station, soups, salads, sides and chili, pie-by-the-slice and a huge selection of hot and cold beverages including Starbucks coffee and frappuccino, Naked Juice, wine and domestic and imported beers. “All of our bread, Hoagie rolls and hamburger and hot dog buns are baked fresh daily in the Pala bakery,” Chef Mares said.  “Our sandwiches are made fresh from the best Boars Head meats and cheese and the hot dogs are Nathan’s.” All sandwiches are a half-pound, New York deli style; burgers are a half-pound and dogs are all foot longs. “Our burgers ($7.95 to $9.25) and club sandwiches ($10.95) are top sellers right now, but  B.L.A.T.s ($9.25) are popular too,” Mares said. If you don’t speak deli, a B.L.A.T. is a bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato on white or wheat toast.  And, Italian Grinders ($12.95), with prosciutto, maple glazed honey ham, genoa salami, provolone, mozzarella, pepperoncinis, mayo and Italian dressing will soothe any savage beast. Another Promenade exclusive is Create Your Own Pizza ($12.95).  Selections include up to four toppings, sausage, pepperoni, ham, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, pineapple or sun-dried tomatoes.  And, don’t forget the Texas Tommy Hot Dog ($8.25), a foot-long dog wrapped in bacon and smothered with melted cheese.

And while the Deli hours are 11 a.m. to 7 a.m., Sunday-Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday, a Breakfast Sandwich ($9.95) offering scrambled eggs with choice of bacon, sausage or ham served with breakfast potatoes, is served all day. The Deli offers open counter seating or guests may sit at any four topper in the Promenade.

On occasion, Chef Mares and his Deli cohorts get the opportunity to be extra creative, like when Pala hosted its recent Elvis Fest and Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest. The Deli offered Elvis’ favorite fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches ($5.95) and with bacon ($6.95). “They were a big hit, not only with all the Elvis fans that weekend but also with many of our regular guests,” Mares said.