My first impression when entering D’Elia’s Grinders was that it was an incredibly old restaurant. The décor testified to that, the tables and wooden chairs were locked into the ground and even the tiled floor and ceiling added to the air of antiquity. D’Elia’s Grinders has been open since 1955, with a catchy slogan that says “It’s the Bread!” Although its initial appearance wasn’t impressive, my friend and I were greeted by a helpful staff who, thankfully, were patient as we tried to sort through their lengthy sandwich menu.
With a variety of cold cut, hot, gourmet and grilled sandwiches, D’Elia’s seems to cover all the bases in the sandwich world. They also serve salads, burgers and desserts for those not in the mood for a classic grinder. I ordered a turkey pastrami grinder while my friend ordered a roast beef grinder and a chocolate chip cookie. Because of the promising slogan, I expected the bread to be fresh, crunchy and light. Unfortunately, the bread I received was too crunchy, so much so that it scratched part of my gums. To make matters worse, I soon realized that the first few bites were all bread. After opening up my sandwich, I noticed the ratio of filling and bread was disproportionate, and there was hardly any meat and other toppings.
The filling of my turkey pastrami cold cut grinder was very basic; just some lettuce and tomato accompanied by the turkey pastrami and provolone cheese. The only dressing included was soy bean oil and sparse seasonings of salt and pepper. The turkey pastrami tasted like store bought deli meat; it was less like meat and more like preservatives. And although the cheese truly tasted like cheese, it wasn’t enough to save the entire sandwich.
My friend, who ordered the roast beef grinder, had a little more luck with his sandwich. The bread, cheese, vegetables, and toppings were the same as mine, but the roast beef was definitely much better than the turkey pastrami. It didn’t taste preserved and was pretty good overall. However, there was still too much bread and not enough filling.
After the sandwiches, we sampled the chocolate chip cookie. Surprisingly, it wasn’t bad. It didn’t have the fresh out of the oven taste, but it was still soft and there was a lot of chocolate. Out of the entire meal, the cookie easily outshone the sandwiches.
If you’re desperately looking for a sandwich shop and you’re further down on University Avenue, then maybe try D’Elia’s Grinders. The staff was nice and the prices are fairly cheap ( you can purchase half a sandwich for around $4 and a whole sandwich for around $6), depending on what you order. However, if you’re looking for a more substantial sandwich with superior flavor and filling, stick to the closer sandwich shops around campus like Subway or Sub Station.