I’ve recently moved from Portland, Oregon and I’ve been amazed by the food here in the Skagit Valley. So when a friend recommended Slough Food, a deli counter-style restaurant in Bow, of course I made the pleasant drive to check it out.
Named because it backs up to the Edison slough and is equal distance from Bellingham, Anacortes and the surrounding towns, the deli is a foodie’s dream of local meats, cheeses, breads, wines, honey, imported olive oils and more. I asked owner John DeGloria why he chose the small town as the home for his deli and diner. “It’s a centrally isolated destination,” he shared with a smile.
The deli case is the focus of the small room and behind it, John greets his regulars and new visitors alike with a large, warm smile. He handpicks the vendors he works with and knows about all of his products. Not sure what to get? He will happily spend the time to help you make good choices.
John is a native of Skagit Valley and a self-trained cook. While studying Latin in Rome, Italy, he was impressed by the open markets and the delicatessens. “I fell in love with the beauty in the famous Campo dei Fiori farmers market, where I would shop daily,” he shared. “I will never forget the owner slicing prosciutto the old-fashioned way – with a knife – and greeting everyone with a warm ‘Buon giorno!’”
After years in the restaurant, retail and wholesale wine businesses, he opened Slough Food in April of 2004. Since then, the towns of Bow and nearby Edison have grown into a food destination, famous for the bounty of the land and the sea. Slough Food is a large contributor to the scene.
The menu features sandwiches, soups and salads, and of course, local wines, beers and cider by the glass. In addition to the deli counter and retail shop, John uses local favorites and European gems to create meat and cheese platters.
Slough Food has monthly events, like oyster parties, crab roll parties and salmon feasts, all resourced by local vendors. Local vineyards hold occasional wine tastings as well.
On my first visit I had a sandwich on focaccia bread with prosciutto, provolone and basil. It was quite delightful. I also had a side of cornichon that were also very good. And for dessert, I had to try a chocolate cannoli filled with ricotta cheese. It was light, fluffy and reminded me of the one I had in Florence, Italy. The service was patient with my guest and I as we considered the options. They were helpful and not hurried, much like the small town. The heated patio overlooking the slough is charming with simple picnic tables and flora. During the warmer months, the patio is the place to be and the center of the action.
I saw a chalkboard hanging in the dining room with a hand written message announcing the monthly, Paella Feast. Maybe I am spoiled by so many delicious options in the Pacific Northwest, but there are very few restaurant experiences that I am willing to wait in line for, but paella is one. Put on by the local catering company Paella Works, the event often draws a large crowd in the Spring and Summer. It is recommended to arrive early, have a glass of wine and relax a while.
The traditional entree, paella valencia, gets it’s name from the large pan in which it is cooked and the region of Valencia, Spain, where it is believed to have originated. Paella can vary by region, but is generally a saffron rice dish, served with green beans, rabbit, chicken and sometimes duck. An alternate is, de marisco (seafood paella) which replaces meat with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables, while paella mixta (mixed paella) is a freestyle combination of meat from land livestock, seafood, vegetables and sometimes beans.
John lives in Edison and enjoys being able to support local vendors and give back to the community. He donates items and gift cards to the Edison High School for fundraising raffles. Visit the Slough Food website for more information or just hop in the car and take a drive to this delicious restaurant in Bow. You’ll be glad you did.
5766 Cains Court, Bow