Wrap It Up

Wraps 2

‘Fresh Food Fast’: Wrap It Up lives up to its slogan

BY TOM STEVENSdavid@beacononlinenews.com

Wrap It Up is the type of restaurant that can easily work its way into your routine. Built on a legacy of local family restaurants, it vies to become one of DeLand’s favorite lunch spots.

The Wrap It Up philosophy is its slogan: “fresh food fast.” It’s wrap sandwiches made to order from scratch. The service is quick, and the prices are as fair as at the average sandwich shop, but Wrap It Up’s fine-crafted recipes and quality ingredients put them a step above many.

Wrap It Up is in the center of Downtown DeLand, on Woodland Boulevard near the corner of New York Avenue. Inside, the menu is immediately visible above the cash register and display case. The light paint colors and streetside windows make the small space feel open and lively. Table seating is available in a small dining area, with counter seating along the windows, but many customers take their orders to go.

Meals are prepared immediately after the customer pays at the counter. I was surprised at how quickly the sandwiches came out — at least as fast as any fast-food restaurant.

But I only appreciated this fact after I tried the food. The marriage of speedy service and food you won’t regret an hour after eating is what makes Wrap It Up worthwhile.

Before co-owner Melissa Brissey and her husband opened Wrap It Up, she said, “I would wish there was some place where you could get fast food, but have it be healthy and fresh.”

I visited Wrap It Up with my family on a weekday afternoon, a little after the lunch rush. Jimmy Brissey and Melissa greeted us. They were kind and vivacious in conversation, and suggested that we sample their soup of the day and a Greek salad, as well as two of their most popular wrap sandwiches (solely for the purpose of this review, of course).

The Greek salad was topped with prosciutto and balsamic vinaigrette. The dressing melded nicely with the greens — and the olives, the croutons, feta cheese, and the one jalapeño pepper. Each ingredient was a joy in its own right, so there was nothing to pick around.

Next was the soup of the day. This is part of a revolving cast of menu items, switched on a daily basis to keep things novel for customers. This particular day, the soup was cream-and-spinach soup made with an artichoke base. It was a modest-but-pleasant complement to the heavy salad.

It should be emphasized that everything at Wrap It Up is made on location, even the dressings.

While we ate, my grandmother and aunt engaged Jimmy and Melissa, and their cousin Jen Evans, in a conversation that went well beyond small talk and settled around the restaurant owners’ ancestry, which is steeped in the culinary arts.

Jimmy and Jen’s great-grandfather immigrated to New York City and started a corner store. Later, Great-Uncle Nick Bellini came over from Italy to learn under his uncle, and after learning the trade, he moved to West Volusia and started Bellini’s Restaurant.

Jimmy and Jen grew up working at Bellini’s. Meanwhile, Melissa grew up in a family that expected her to learn to cook. Jimmy and Melissa also own an ice-cream venue in Downtown DeLand called Sweet Spot. So, the culinary roots of their family run deep in the local community.

After the soup and salad, Jimmy brought out the wraps. While some menu items alternate, most of the wraps are staples. These include vegetarian and vegan options.

First, we tried the Tex-Mex wrap, with turkey, corn, black beans, pepper jack cheese, and greens. Then we tried the Mediterranean wrap with turkey. Both sandwiches tasted just as fresh as the salad had, and both are constant menu items. They were filling without being too heavy.

But Wrap It Up is always experimenting with new ideas, keeping culinary artistry alive in their business, and making sure customers are never bored. Follow their Facebook page to see what they’re up to.

Recently they unveiled a “Thanksgiving Panini,” and before that they posted a video of Jimmy explaining the indulgent “Steakhouse Mac n’ Cheese” (exactly what it sounds like: steak and macaroni and cheese in a wrap — it was a hit).
On the lighter side, they’ve also done things like vegan quinoa salad and a Greek hummus wrap.         

Wrap It Up impresses customers with their speedy service, fresh food, and ever-changing menu. It may be your ideal lunch-break restaurant

Restaurant Information

Location: 101 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday
Kid-friendly: Yes
Pet-friendly: Service dogs allowed; pets OK at outdoor tables
Beverages: Water and soft drinks, no alcohol
Special diets: Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options
Phone:  (386) 279-7653