Monday, March 12, 2007

John's Italian Deli

For lunch today I headed for that nebulous part of Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd. near the Patapsco River, by the Baltimore City-Baltimore County-Anne Arundel County lines. It's sort of Baltimore, kind of Lansdowne, quasi-Baltimore Highlands, and a tad Linthicum-ish (I've played it safe and labeled it "Lansdowne-Baltimore Highlands," which is not without precedent).

The eatery was John's Italian Deli - a place that isn't really what fits my image of an "Italian" deli. It is a sparse but semi-charming sit-down place, with soda case and totally visible kitchen. John's is a fave with some of my co-workers, though the food can be hit-or-miss depending on the dish and the day. I got a foot long hot dog there a few months ago. Not terribly appetizing. And just yesterday another co-worker remarked at how salty the lunchmeat was that day. But they keep going back, so it must be good. Then again, I used to keep going back to the Szechuan Hot Wok until they kept me and everybody else waiting for half an hour for food (Fool me once, shame on you, fool me seven times, well I'm just stupid, I guess). Honestly, how can a kitchen with so many cooks make so much consistently late food?

I called in my order for a Reuben - even on a Monday, this place can be busy (good luck ordering on a Friday; I was told to call by 9 to get your order by 12). But only a 20 minute wait for my food.

I got there about 10 minutes late and got my Reuben back to work. And the sandwich was do-ably hot (it had been waiting for me for a while). The Reuben was $6.95 - not cheap in my mind but still below $10. The best part was that this not-so-small sandwich was open-faced, so I just ate half of the Reuben pizza-style and put away the rest - with pickle - for tomorrow.

This was a tasty Reuben, one of the better ones I have had of late. The corned beef was salty and a little juicy, though that may be from the melted cheese and not-too-strong sauerkraut. All this was on a layer of Russian dressing and two separate slices of Jewish rye, which tasted like they had been buttered before they were fried. THIS is how a Reuben should taste, if open-faced anyway.

Not a good choice for your diet, but was SO good. I'm looking forward to eating the other half tomorrow.


Dan said...

Cool tip... I'll have to add it to my list. I love a good deli. My fave around these parts so far is Pastore's over on Philadelphia Road. I had to laugh the last time I was in there... they actually have a printout of my review sitting on the counter!