Restaurant review: Katzinger’s North Market spin-off tastes great

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From the May 22, 2014 edition

For 30 years, bustling Katzinger’s in German Village has been the standard-bearer for delicatessens in Columbus. Offering feel-good sandwiches that number up to 80, it’s the kind of venerated place locals show off to visitors, and high-profile out-of-towners often publicly rave about — like Sheryl Crow, Adam Sandler, Ted Allen (host of the Food Network’s “Chopped”) and president Bill Clinton, who actually created his own eponymous sandwich there 20 years ago. And now, after staying put for three decades, Katzinger’s is the place with a new branch in the North Market.

Nicknamed Little Deli, this order-at-the-counter-wait-for-your-name-to-be-called sibling situated in North Market’s southwest quadrant (opposite Omega Artisan Baking) is a considerably pared-down version of the original. In fact, instead of dozens and dozens of “how do I choose?” sandwiches, it offers a manageable 10 bread-bound bombers — one of which is only sold here.

Before I get to that, though, let me reassure you that Katzinger’s has outfitted its new shop with those beloved barrels of serve-yourself-all-you-want-for-free pickles. I always get one each of these whole baby cucumber treats — a salty, crisp and more fresh “garlic,” and a softer, much-longer-cured-and-so-more-sour “dill.”

“Only at the Market” (aka #81; $11.25) is Katzinger’s new sandwich. Unsurprisingly, it’s another winner — a killer, club sandwich-esque combination of thinly sliced turkey, extra-crispy/super-smoky bacon, spirited pimento cheese spread (sharp, rich and with hints of pickle and spice), plus tomatoes, all on crusty white bread.

Another heavy hitter, and perennial Katzinger’s favorite, is the sandwich Ted Allen championed on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” show: Bill, Gary and Beuford’s Upper Yough Reuben (don’t ask — just call it #39 and cough up $10.95). It’s a lascivious, grill-toasted-on-rye marriage of hot pastrami (though I received corned beef), Swiss cheese, sweet Russian dressing and coleslaw or sauerkraut (go kraut to better play off the dressing) that resounds in your mouth with want-them-again dynamic flavors. Like both of Little Deli’s sandwiches I tried, it’s good-sized, but by no means outrageously large — and it certainly ain’t cheap. So if you’re hungry, or wanna go “halfsies,” take advantage of Little Deli’s $3 supersizing (aka “deli-sizing”) upcharge policy.

Little Deli also sells chips, sodas (e.g. deli-mandatory varieties from Dr. Brown’s), homemade brownies and big $3 sides like fresh slaw and nice mayo-free redskin potato salad.

Photos by Meghan Ralston