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Restaurant Review: D&L Sandwich Kings

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: D&L Sandwich KingsThe Philly — Photo by Walker Evans.
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A new sandwich shop made its official debut this fall. D&L Sandwich Kings has opened its doors on East Main, serving something a little more special than your regular deli fare. It does its own house brisket and corned beef (and a few other things) with homespun style.

You know you’re close to the establishment when you walk by a burma-shave styled collection of signs promising freshly crafted sandwich combos ahead. Open the glass door to the establishment, and you’re about three big strides from the order counter. It’s small and all carry-out, though there’s an oversized padded booth seat that makes a nice waiting space while your order is assembled.

At first blush, the menu offers what you might expect at any neighborhood deli: lots of meat choices, cheese, bread, and dressing choices so that diners can put it all together however they like. However, if you ask which meats are made in house, there’s an answer to that question: brisket, corned beef, pastrami, pork belly, chicken and pulled pork. That’s an impressive collection.

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The Brisket from D&L Sandwich Kings.

Rather than designing the sandwich combos, and making decisions about bread, cheese and sauces, we deferred to the kitchen on deciding the pairings to best match the meat. So The Brisket ($7.50) arrived on a soft baguette with melted provolone cheese. The meat itself is lean, sliced impossibly thinly. It’s mild, without the preservative laden saltiness often associated with deli fare. The beef is also juicy enough to make its own sauce. It’s a honest, old-fashioned pleasure.

For fans of something more cured, there is the Corned Beef ($7.50). It’s pink and sliced just as thinly as the brisket. Mildly salty and teamed with the house condiment combo: shredded lettuce, onions and tomato slices. The lettuce seems to be a green romaine variant, which adds bonus quality and nutrient density to the combo. Like the brisket, it’s got a distinct homespun appeal.

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The Corned Beef from D&L Sandwich Kings.

So we moved on down the list of house meats, hitting the Pork Belly ($7.50) too. That option is best for a particular palate. Sure, everyone loves bacon, and the chunks of bacon/belly are thick, luxe blocks of goodness. Part of the thing that makes bacon great, though, is its fat. For whatever reason, thick fat stripes are just too much for this particular eater. Fat’s great: butter, cream, hell, even margarine. But chewable animal fat is a whole different ballgame.

So for pork, the Pulled Pork ($5.50) is an easier option. It’s seasoned, lean and cooked soft, but not so soft that it turns stringy; there are still nice meaty chunks. There are other options, too. For those whose tastes run more towards ham, turkey or other traditional deli fare, they’re available. There’s also a board that lists combos like Cuban, Reuben or Philly Steak sandwiches. The kitchen, it seems, can do lots with its basic quality ingredients.

The regular sandwiches come with french fries — they were thickish and fresh fried during the visit. Fries make a good compliment to an old school sandwich pleasure. You’ll find D & L Sandwich Kings at 1053 East Main street. It keeps consistent hours, 11am until 8am every day except for Wednesday.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pg/KingsofSand/.

All photos by Walker Evans. Note: menu item availability may vary.

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The Pork Chop Sandwich from D&L Sandwich Kings.

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