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Review: Milo’s Deli & Cafe

 Morgan Kelley Review: Milo’s Deli & Cafe
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If Franklinton is considered a hidden gem, then Milo’s Deli & Cafe a gem within a gem. Hidden in plain sight on West Broad Street, this unassuming shop offers little in the way of street presence or curb appeal, but more than makes up for it indoors.

Milo’s guests are greeted upon entry by an impressive display case of a wide variety of cakes, cookies and other assorted desserts. A glance upward gives you a look at the numerous daily features listed out on a chalkboard (there were 8 items listed during my recent visit) and beyond that lies the standard menu which contains a large variety of deli specialties. Classic sandwiches can be found here; Reubens, BLTs and Club Sandwiches — in addition to localized favorites such as the Russian Reuben (served with Russian dressing on grilled pumpernickel) and Egg Salad Florentine (homemade egg salad on a fresh croissant). Paninis, gyros, salads and subs round out the rest of the lunch menu.

The Salmon Burger ($7.25) is a filet of grilled salmon served with lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayonnaise on a hamburger bun. I was surprised at how large the portion of salmon was, probably 5 or 6 ounces. All of the flavors worked well together, making this a healthy alternative to a traditional beef burger, without sacrificing on taste.

The Steak Fajita Wrap (a Wednesday-only special, $6.95) is filled with thinly sliced steak, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and a trio of sauteed onions, mushrooms and bell peppers. It’s served with a side of salsa and a side of sour cream. Everything about this sandwich turned out exactly as expected. Lettuce was crisp, vegetables were flavorful, and the steak was warm and juicy. The flour wrap was fairly similar to a flour tortilla, so the fajita flavor profile was pretty comparable all around.

The Greek Tortellini Salad ($2.50) includes a tri-color blend of cheese tortellini dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette and diced bell peppers, served cold. This side dish offers a nice change up from the more traditional macaroni salad (also on the menu) and provides a healthier option, as it’s not slathered in mayo.

The Mr. Turkey ($6.50), despite the cute name, is a fairly standard roast turkey sandwich, served with lettuce, tomato, onion, cream cheese and cucumbers on a croissant. The addition of cucumber and cream cheese gave it a distinct enough taste without being too dressed up. I also ordered a side of cole slaw ($2.25) which I was quite disappointed in. The slaw had a nice creamy dressing, but the cabbage used was not fresh, as if it had sat in the display case a day too long.

Of course, no trip to Milo’s would be complete without ordering a few items out of the dessert case. My samplings included a creme horn ($1.75), a red velvet cupcake ($2.10) and a cherry strudel ($2.10). All three desserts were quite large, and I feel as if the photo doesn’t do them justice without something included for reference. (Note to self: Include a quarter next time). The creme horn was fresh and the creme filling was delicate without being overly sweet… but instead of the usual flaky pastry it had more of a chewy consistency, which was unexpected but still worked. The red velvet cupcake was honestly one of the best I’ve had in Columbus. The cake was moist and the cream cheese frosting was fluffy and delicious. Unfortunately, the cherry strudel ended up being a let down. This pastry was also not flaky at all, which made it less enjoyable than the creme horn. The fruit filling was also a bit sparse leaving me tasting nothing but substandard pastry. Two out of three ain’t bad though, especially for the price.

Deli sandwiches aren’t too hard to come by in Downtown Columbus, but if you work Downtown, you owe it to yourself to visit (or revisit) Milo’s Deli, as it’s only a short drive westbound into Franklinton, and easily accessible for a one-hour lunch break. You’re sure to find a new favorite or two on their expansive menu, though it might take you a few attempts to find something that strikes your fancy. If you don’t work Downtown, you might have a tougher time making it to Milo’s, as their hours only run from 7am to 3pm, Monday through Friday, providing no service for dinner or weekend patrons.

Milo’s Deli & Cafe is located at 980 West Broad Street in Franklinton. Menus, hours and more information can be found at www.milosdeli.com.

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