Franklinton is the oldest neighborhood in Columbus, and it's had a long and difficult life. For decades, its flood-prone status and high crime rates kept it from being anywhere close to a desirable area.
But a new floodwall, completed in 2004, gave new hope. Dedicated residents have been trying to pump new life into the area through initiatives like the Franklinton Arts District and events like Urban Scrawl.
They envision a haven for artists and creatives - much like the Short North, a section of town that's overcome struggles of its own. Franklinton is definitely a neighborhood in transition, though some will debate that not a whole lot has changed since the floodwall was dedicated.
I'm not going to get too far into that argument, but I am going to recommend that you do what you can to support the struggling neighborhood by frequenting its businesses. Like Milo's, a neat deli and cafe right on Broad Street.
The place was packed on a recent afternoon and, judging from their name badges, many patrons were on lunch break from nearby Mount Carmel West.
The long menu includes stacked-high deli sandwiches, wraps and salads. The options are eclectic, everything from the classic New York-style Hot Pastrami to down-home favorites like Fried Balogna to a surprisingly long list of gyros.
Milo's Famous Reuben, $6.25
Any deli is only as good as its Reuben. Milo's pretty much dares you to try its take on the sandwich by naming it Milo's Famous Reuben. And I did try it, because I'll always take a dare.
The basic elements of a Reuben are corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss, Thousand Island and rye. Milo's version includes all of those things, and throws in some pastrami and turkey.
The earthy rye is sliced thick, slathered in butter and nicely toasted. And it performs well, not becoming too soggy even under the huge pile of lunch meats, cheese, dressing and sauerkraut.
The crunchy pile of good and tangy sauerkraut works nicely with the creamy Thousand Island and gooey Swiss. While the turkey gets lost among the rest of the assertive flavors, the pastrami and corned beef are quite flavorful. Yes, this Reuben earns its claim to fame - it's one of the best specimens you'll find in Columbus.
Sandwiches are served with a pickle spear, plus your choice of chips or pretzels. Go with the pretzels; the bag of Shearer's is sub-par.
The bakery case at Milo's is filled with delicious-looking cookies and other baked goods, and the Cinnamon Baton ($1.25) is a fun fall treat. The long twisted pastry had the same flavors and frosting as a cinnamon bun but was much lighter and pleasantly flaky.
Milo's Famous Reuben: $6.25
Cinnamon Baton: $1.25
Tax & Tip: $1.71