Restaurant Review: Katzinger’s Dublin
Katzinger’s has a lengthy history as a beloved fixture in German Village. The deli is a revered institution that has hosted famous folks from Joe Biden to Lyle Lovett. Owned for decades by Diane Warren, in 2016, Katzinger’s officially changed hands to CityBrands, LLC, a group that brought Columbus its Wine Bistro projects. Since the change, things have bustled along, with business as usual, much in the same fashion that earned the deli’s claim to fame. Katzinger’s did shutter a North Market satellite operation in 2018, but it also recently grew a new branch, outside the urban core. The deli debuted a new Dublin project a couple of months ago.
So, how does an uptown deli approach a suburban market? Well, with some table service, but teamed with the same approach in the kitchen that earned Katzinger’s claim to fame in the first place. So, for example, Katzinger’s has always been a deli that paid attention to its bread. No doubt, bread plays a role (or roll, heh heh) in any sandwich’s success. The deli’s house-sliced breads from Pittsburgh’s Mediterra Bakehouse have a flavor; they have a presence. They also have a defined crustiness: the slices are more than just vehicles to hold meat.
So, if you’re looking for a sandwich as a vehicle for consuming a mass of food, or specifically, a mass of piled-high meat, you’ll want to do one of the special biggie versions of its sandwiches. Otherwise, it’s a place where the parts, and balance, matters. That’s not to say the joint is fufu. Although neatly layered, there’s nothing particularly fussy-looking about the sandwiches. The charm, then, is in the flavor and tradition.
Armed with appropriate expectations, it’s time to check out Dublin’s newbie. The Reuben has been a traditional go-to at the original spot for decades and, true-to-form, you can score a version of the popular sandwich up north. That’d be Katzinger’s Reuben ($12.95). Almost all of the house sandwiches on the menu are priced over $10, so plan accordingly. An order will deliver a balanced mix of edge-to-edge, fresh-cut corned beef, set off by tart sauerkraut, swiss cheese and a tangy Russian dressing on lightly grilled, sturdy rye. All-in it’s a good, if spendy, sandwich.
An options such as Kahrl’s Killer Club ($13.50) is not much more expensive, but feels like a better investment. It’s a double-decker, built on three slices of challah that are layered with the classic combo of turkey, bacon, ham, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato and mayo to hold things together. While reuben sandwiches, by virtue of their defining sauerkraut and dressing, offer a little more complexity, the Club delivers hefty Midwestern sandwich satisfaction.
For those who seek non-meat items, there is a healthy selection of veggie sandwich options, but there’s also Katzinger’s Greek Salad. It has the things you might expect from a Greek salad (feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives) plus silky red pepper and velvety, lux artichoke hearts. It’s entree sized and priced at $10.25.
In terms of side-dishes, there are always the gratis pickles or alternately, traditional versions of macaroni salad, potato salad or coleslaw for $2.95.
Or you might venture into the soup scene. That said, the Broth with Matzo Balls ($3.95) is pretty skippable. The dumpling balls get credit for sheer girth, but the broth in which they stew comes off as a forgettable afterthought. The nature of the beast demands a full-bodied broth, and the house version did not deliver.
You can try out the new spot up north at 7160 Muirfield Drive.
For more information, visit katzingers.com.
All photos by Susan Post