Sandwiches/Subs in Orlando

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    Celebrity Delly bears not even a passing resemblance to a big-city delicatessen; there's no hustle and bustle, no rough edges, no rudeness behind the counter. Planted in a Best Western hotel on the corner of West Colonial Drive and Tampa Avenue, the restaurant is relatively nondescript in a vinyl-upholstered, Formica-table-topped kind of way.

    For many fans on the west side of town, lunch just wouldn't be lunch without a fix of triple-stacked sandwiches, piled high with top-shelf meats and served with kraut, pickles, slaw, steak fries and all the trimmings. Some of them have followed the restaurant for more than 10 years as it hopscotched from Lee Road to Altamonte Springs to its current location.

    For many fans on the west side of town, lunch just wouldn't be lunch without a fix of triple-stacked sandwiches, piled high with top-shelf meats and served with kraut, pickles, slaw, steak fries and all the trimmings. Some of them have followed the restaurant for more than 10 years as it hopscotched from Lee Road to Altamonte Springs to its current location.

    True to its name, the restaurant is filled with portraits of famous people, from the legendary ("Prince" and "Daffy Duck") to neo-celebs such as "Mr. T." The sandwiches are named accordingly, from the "Bogie Burger" to "The Duke" roast-beef sandwich. Extremely hungry is an excellent state to be when you sit down to dine – you will not leave that way, as the sandwiches are famously oversized.

    True to its name, the restaurant is filled with portraits of famous people, from the legendary ("Prince" and "Daffy Duck") to neo-celebs such as "Mr. T." The sandwiches are named accordingly, from the "Bogie Burger" to "The Duke" roast-beef sandwich. Extremely hungry is an excellent state to be when you sit down to dine – you will not leave that way, as the sandwiches are famously oversized.

    There was a time when richly spiced cold cuts, condiments and pickled things were considered delicacies, or "delicatessen," as they say in Germany. That has changed somewhat, now that bagel shops are on every main thoroughfare and Reubens are available just about everywhere but Burger King. Still, there are standbys that haven't entered our culinary consciousness, though. A chopped-liver sandwich on pumpernickel, washed down with an egg-cream soda? A fried potato pancake with applesauce and sour cream? You'll find them here.

    There was a time when richly spiced cold cuts, condiments and pickled things were considered delicacies, or "delicatessen," as they say in Germany. That has changed somewhat, now that bagel shops are on every main thoroughfare and Reubens are available just about everywhere but Burger King. Still, there are standbys that haven't entered our culinary consciousness, though. A chopped-liver sandwich on pumpernickel, washed down with an egg-cream soda? A fried potato pancake with applesauce and sour cream? You'll find them here.

    There are dozens of you-pick, they-stack sandwiches built with ham, turkey, knockwurst, salami, bologna, rare roast beef, liverwurst, chicken and tuna salad, and more. The "Mighty Milty" ($5.75) is as good a choice as any, featuring about a half pound of hot, juicy pastrami, piled high, topped with melted provolone cheese, cole slaw and Russian dressing on fresh rye bread. The meats were lean, evenly spiced and just salty enough to snap tastebuds to attention, and the bread was at its peak. Another good bet is "The Brando" ($5.95), created from thin-sliced roast beef and turkey, layered with Swiss cheese, onions and horseradish.

    There are dozens of you-pick, they-stack sandwiches built with ham, turkey, knockwurst, salami, bologna, rare roast beef, liverwurst, chicken and tuna salad, and more. The "Mighty Milty" ($5.75) is as good a choice as any, featuring about a half pound of hot, juicy pastrami, piled high, topped with melted provolone cheese, cole slaw and Russian dressing on fresh rye bread. The meats were lean, evenly spiced and just salty enough to snap tastebuds to attention, and the bread was at its peak. Another good bet is "The Brando" ($5.95), created from thin-sliced roast beef and turkey, layered with Swiss cheese, onions and horseradish.

    Side items are a must, particularly the chunky cole slaw ($1.30) that emphasizes red cabbage, and a cup of matzo-ball soup ($2.25) that is so flavorful it actually makes chicken soup an exciting option for lunch. Steak fries are worth the extra expense, too; it was thoroughly soft and fluffy inside, crisp outside. A half order will more than suffice ($1.25), unless that's all you're eating. The only let down was the leaden New York cheesecake ($2.25).

    Side items are a must, particularly the chunky cole slaw ($1.30) that emphasizes red cabbage, and a cup of matzo-ball soup ($2.25) that is so flavorful it actually makes chicken soup an exciting option for lunch. Steak fries are worth the extra expense, too; it was thoroughly soft and fluffy inside, crisp outside. A half order will more than suffice ($1.25), unless that's all you're eating. The only let down was the leaden New York cheesecake ($2.25).

    Lunch-only Celebrity Delly closes at 2:30 p.m. weekdays, but breakfast is served all week long, with hot-off-the-griddle combinations of eggs, omelets, corned-beef hash, pancakes and French toast.

    The day I went to Champs Deli across the street from the downtown library, there were just five people in the place. Still, I almost didn't make it in.

    The little phone-booth-sized established for quite a while, with Chef George serving his famous pulled-pork sandwiches, and even though it's now owned by Lilia's Catering, George is still there. (By the way, Champ's Bakery on West Church has no connection to this place.)

    The little phone-booth-sized established for quite a while, with Chef George serving his famous pulled-pork sandwiches, and even though it's now owned by Lilia's Catering, George is still there. (By the way, Champ's Bakery on West Church has no connection to this place.)

    The cold-cut selection is pretty ordinary, but where else can you get a pretty decent chicken-salad sandwich and a cup of soup for $3.95, or a hot breakfast sammich for a buck-fifty? The banter that flies around might be reason enough to stop by, but if you're not in the neighborhood, they have a website. They have a website! It's almost bigger than the deli! Check Champs Deli if you need a catering menu.

    After serving Central Florida for the better part of three decades, Amira's Kosher Deli closed its doors in May of last year, leaving a vacuum in the mouths and bellies of Jews and Gentiles craving kosher staples. Not one to succumb to the vagaries of the economy, Amira and Jerry Cohen's son, Justin, did his part to fill that vacuum, even if it was more than 40 miles away from where Amira's once stood. The place, Cohen's Deli and Butcher Shop, is ensconced in an oddly shaped strip mall off U.S. Highway 27 and U.S. Highway 192 in Clermont. The reason for the deli's locale? To cater to tourists, of course ' specifically, the scores of Jewish vacationers keeping kosher. For the rest of us, it'll definitely require a schlep to satisfy cravings for latkes, knishes, matzo-ball soup, pastrami or, yes, even halvah.

    For those who do make the drive, comfort awaits ' not so much in the seating, but certainly in the food. Puckering up over sour dills (served whole) and pickled tomatoes is a pleasure while perusing the menu. Justin, sporting a chef's coat with 'Master Butcherâ?� printed on the back, makes the rounds with regulars, then dashes behind the counter to fill orders. And while Cohen's menu is held to strict glatt kosher standards under the supervision of Rabbi Yosef Konikov, that hardly means it comes at the expense of taste. Pulpy matzo farfel soup ($2.99 cup; $3.99 bowl), while mushy, was a lemony delight and reminiscent of Greek avgolemono soup. Unintentionally star-shaped potato latkes ($3.99) were, ironically, the star of the menu. A side of apple sauce made an ideal dip for the perfectly crisp potato pancakes, and they held up quite nicely the next day. Seeing the glass case loaded with an assortment of knishes made ordering one difficult to resist. The potato version reminded me of my mom's potato vadas ' doughy, pliant and wonderfully seasoned. All that was missing was some red-hot chutney.

    Burgers aren't what come to mind when you think of a Jewish deli, but I had to try Cohen's quarter-pounder ($6.99) after learning the beef is ground fresh in the butcher shop. (Like Amira's, Cohen's has the luxury of an on-site butcher shop to supply meats for their deli and catering operations.) The resulting patty was a little flattened, but tasted great, and the bun, baked on the premises, was out-of-the-oven fresh. I opted for a side of fresh-cut, skin-on fries ($1.99) and a tumbler of sweet, crisp coleslaw, both spot-on.

    The overstuffed beef brisket sandwich ($10.99) is just that ' two slices of spongy, flavorful rye stuffed with nothing else but beef brisket. While purists may appreciate the no-nonsense approach, they may also find it a tad dry; a dip in the decanter of gravy helps. Creamy potato salad ($1.99) made from red-skin tubers makes a perfectly worthy side.

    The thin slab of halvah ($1.99), a crumbly sesame-paste confection, didn't exactly wow me, and made the dense dairy-free chocolate cake ($4.99) taste better than it actually was. But with its many menu holdovers from Amira's, it's nice to see the tradition live on, even if it is in Lake County. Forget the desserts. Like Amira's, Cohen's real strength is straight-from-the-shtetl home cooking.

    Tucked away in the Hidden Gardens area of Park Avenue is a shiny new place for noontime snacking, appropriately called The Lunch Box. The sandwich shop is an extension of Olive This, Relish That, the quirky tapenade, jam and foodstuff place owned by the Doggie Door folks. So call this the People Door, if you will.

    Wind through the back courtyard of the Hidden Gardens or walk right in to the front door of Olive This, Relish That for yummy sandwiches made with prime rib and mushrooms sauteed in vermouth; tarragon chicken salad (get there early, this one sells out); or grilled Italian bread with fontina cheese and peppers.

    Wind through the back courtyard of the Hidden Gardens or walk right in to the front door of Olive This, Relish That for yummy sandwiches made with prime rib and mushrooms sauteed in vermouth; tarragon chicken salad (get there early, this one sells out); or grilled Italian bread with fontina cheese and peppers.

    Build your own from specialty breads such as black olive or ciabatta rolls, and add a vegetable, ham and pasta salad and a fresh-baked cookie, and you've got something great to pack into your own tin pail.

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