Restaurant Review: Danny’s Deli
If you’re building a collection of places to hit during BLT season, Danny’s Deli needs to be on the list.
First, because it does BLTs in purist style: toasty bread with layer on layer of crunchy bacon slices, tomatoes, and tender lettuce leaves dressed with a whisper of mayo. It’s crunchy and cool, every bite’s a winner. That’s your classic summertime BLT, and it’s a bargain at $5.25.
But BLTs aren’t really the deli’s claim to fame: it’s more beloved for its corned beed and pastrami. The place has a strong identity as a family deli that started in Cleveland and came to Columbus a few years ago. It always seems crowded, and all the customers seem to know exactly what they’re doing there. For first-timers, it can be confusing. The line for the counter is amorphous (blame customers), but that’s all for carry-out orders. The dine-in protocol at Danny’s Deli is full service, so grab a table and skip the line.
The Matzo Ball Soup ($4) is a winner. It’s centered on one singularly humongous dumpling, right smack dab in the middle of the bowl. A spoon just glides though it, flecked with bits of parsley. It stews in a natural chicken-y broth with soft chunks of celery, carrots, onions and shreds of chicken. The menu offers several variations on that theme, with chicken and rice and chicken and noodles also being options.
It’s just not a deli without a deli sandwich, though. The meat in the deli sandwiches here is piled perversely high – so high, the sandwiches inevitably bulge and round out in the middle. It’s a concoction for carnivores.
Sure, sheer quantity is a nice thing, but it’s more than a quantity issue, there’s serious quality in the meat too. Take the New Yorker ($10.50): regular slices of rye bread with corned beef, swiss and cole slaw inside. Instead of being merely salty, the cured beef has this mild, wet, flavorfully briny accent. It’s sublime. The coleslaw adds a little sweetness, and the only job left for the bread is to hold the mix together in its journey from plate-to-mouth.
You can mix things up a little bit with one of the deli’s club sandwiches. The signature Danny’s Club (pictured up top — $7.50) boasts turkey, ham, swiss, lettuce, tomato and mayo. It’s all on more rye bread, and it’s still the sheer quality and quantity of the meat that steals the show. There’s another club option that’s on the hit-list for the next visit: The Huntington Club. The menu says it packs corned beef, roast beef, turkey and pastrami into one single sandwich: the next visit will also need to involve stretch pants.
The salads are nice too, the Cranberry Salad’s romaine with pecans and cranberries is a great partner for the homespun house Chicken Salad ($8.50, all in).
Danny’s Deli can be found at 37 W. Broad Street -the entrance around the corner on Front Street. It’s open weekdays from 7am until 3pm, for breakfast and lunch. It does get crowded over the noon hour, but the team works quickly and efficiently.
For more information, visit www.dannysdeli.net.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com. Photos are taken at a different time than review, so discrepancies between photos and review may occur.