Ok, quick game of word association: When someone says the name, “Ohio Deli”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? That’s easy…The Dagwood, right? Of course. Thanks to the show, Man vs. Food, The Ohio Deli has increased in popularity among everyone from hardcore eating champions across the country, to the average Joe who wants to conquer the Dagwood Challenge to impress his buddies. But, foodies in Central Ohio know that the Ohio Deli is much more than just the place with the giant sandwich. Its regular menu of lunch and dinner items is full of delicious burgers, deli sandwiches, steaks and salads. I’ve eaten at the Ohio Deli several times, and all of their food has always been awesome, which left me wondering about their breakfasts? We attempted to go for breakfast a couple of months ago, but we got there too late on a Sunday morning, and missed out. So recently, we decided to try again.
When we arrived and walked through the door, we were greeted by a large white board full of breakfast specials. Cinnamon-apple waffles, Ribeye steaks, omelettes stuffed with andouille sausage…it all sounded so good.
The dining room in The Ohio Deli is rather small, and consists of a lot of older-style, generic decor and dining furniture. Tables and booths are both scattered around the room, and the inner section is lined by a half wall topped with plants. I believe the space used to be occupied by an old Sisters Chicken restaurant. The Ohio Deli falls into the same category as many other local diners find themselves, which just makes the intrigue and charm all the greater: It’s nothing fancy to look at, but the food rocks!!
We started with coffee, which was brought in large, green mugs. It was decent, hot, diner coffee. No complaints. We were offered refills several times by our server, who treated us well.
Between four adults and one child, I think only two of us ordered meals that came with toast. Nevertheless, we were brought a big basket full of buttered rye toast and jellies. It was much appreciated.
Mrs. Grub Guy ordered the 9 oz. Ribeye with eggs, which came with fried potatoes and toast. As you can see, the steak was pretty large for a breakfast steak, and she ended up bringing half of it home for later. She said it was a little dry, but that’s kind of hard to avoid when you order it well done. It wasn’t chewy or gristly at all, and had lots of flavor. She was very pleased with her meal.
Two of us ordered the waffle combo, which came with a big, fluffy Belgian waffle with whipped butter, eggs and choice of bacon or sausage. I don’t believe the syrup was real maple syrup, but was still served warm and tasted fine. One was ordered with extra crisp bacon, which they were happy to do for us.
I was feeling particularly hungry, so I ordered the “He-man” breakfast, which consisted of 3 eggs, fried potatoes, choice of bacon or sausage, and biscuits & sausage gravy. Eggs were fine, and the bacon kind of came out in pieces instead of strips, but was pretty tasty and was cooked how I like it. The star of the plate was the potatoes. They were buttery, seasoned well, and had a great crust on the top.
The biscuits & gravy were good. The biscuits were soft and fresh, but didn’t seem to have a lot of flavor. The gravy was nice as well. It was seasoned well, had a good consistency, but could have used a little more sausage for my taste. Overall, a good meal. I always seem to second guess my choices after I order. I think next time I will order one of their more unique meals to try something different. Maybe the andouille omelette.
This is the Smoked Sausage breakfast, which came with 3 eggs, those awesome potatoes and toast. It’s always a breakfast favorite of my dad’s, and he said the Ohio Deli’s version was really good, and plenty filling.
They have a large display case with cakes, pies, cookies and muffins available after breakfast if you’re in the mood. We were all too stuffed and had to pass this time.
On the way out, we checked out the “Wall of Fame”, which features photos of some of the winners of the Dagwood Challenge, as well as the Adam Richman/Man vs. Food centerpiece. They obviously pin up and take down photos every six months or so, since there’s only a small section of the wall dedicated to the photo mural. My photo was on this wall back in 2009, when I defeated the Dagwood. My wife was so proud (not really).
The Ohio Deli is definitely one of those places that will surprise you if you go in expecting one thing, and find out there are tons of other awesome eats available. Whether it’s their deli sandwiches, the casual dining menu, or breakfast that you’re after, I’m sure you will find a great meal at excellent prices. And for all of you Dagwood champion hopefuls out there, here’s a quick hint….divide it into 4 smaller sandwiches. It’s easier on the brain :)