New Restaurants to Try in 2021: Clayton’s Counter Delicatessen

by Arielle Patterson | Feb 8, 2021

Claytons Counter Featured

After years of envisioning a restaurant to call his own, Ralph Anderson finally made his dream a reality when he opened Clayton’s Counter Delicatessen in Virginia Beach. The cozy spot on Oceana Boulevard, perfect for grabbing a drink and a bite to eat or getting made-to-order carryout, officially opened Sept. 1, 2020 in a brand-new shopping center.

Anderson has spent over 30 years working in the culinary industry, including local restaurants and hotels. Branching out on his own, he opened an upscale deli, serving what he calls “pimped out sandwiches.”

The Muffuletta sandwich at Clayton’s Counter is a showstopper, with mortadella, Genoa salami, spicy capicola, mozzarella, sweet pepper jam and olive tapenade piled high between fresh-baked focaccia.

Deli meats, such as brisket and the mesquite-smoked chicken, are smoked in-house and can be bought by the pound. Anderson even makes his own pastrami with Prime grade beef and a special blend of toasted spices. The sandwiches are served on an old-school metal tray lined with brown wax paper and accompanied by a pickle spear.

This deli counter is dishing out more than just sandwiches. Rounding out the menu is an array of sharables, including pierogis, charcuterie and more, a melt-in-your-mouth burger with compound butter, soups, salads and other plant-based options.

The menu at Clayton’s Counter changes seasonally. Munch on jumbo lump crab fritters with cream corn in the summer, then comforting fontina mac and cheese with pepper bacon or smoked brisket beer chili in the cooler months.

Anderson will keep certain menu items around year-round if he gets good feedback from diners. He says the ability to have a flexible menu is the coolest part of owning your own restaurant.

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