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Joe’s Deli has been around since 2006 on Hertel Ave. The Elmwood location opened in 2013. It probably isn’t a destination restaurant for many but if you’re a sandwich lover it should be. Owner and operator Joseph Lyons is a true blue Buffalonian – the kind that moves away and then decides life is better in Buffalo. Unlike most deli men Joe attended the Culinary Institute of America.
Here’s the thing, we could go back to Joe’s everyday for a month and probably not sample everything they have. I’d like to, but there are a lot of great Buffalo restaurants we need to cover. So for all you Joe’s regulars, yes, we left a lot on the table…not literally.
In addition to your standard deli fare Joe’s offers some outstanding home-made soups, salads, sides, and plenty of artistic expression on the sandwich menu.
Joe’s Deli is pretty much everything you’d want in a deli- a large selection of great sandwiches, a stunning beer list (12 on tap), a full bar, outside seating, full service and even a couple TVs. Do yourself a favor and give it a try. This review is specific to Elmwood, but much of it applies to the Hertel location as well.
The menu has plenty more than just great sandwiches, like great creative sandwiches, homemade soups, sides, salads, beer, wine, cocktails etc. All sandwiches come with a pickle and house-made chips. Sub fries for $1.75. In addition to everything else they have a Beer Battered Haddock dinner (fried or broiled) daily at $10.75 and a Fish Sandwich at $8.99. You can build your own sandwich or salad from a huge selection of ingredients. I could sit here and tell you about every sandwich on the menu, but I won’t … maybe a few.
The more traditional:
1322 Original ($9.99) – Piled high corned beef or pastrami with mustard on seedless rye;
Muffuletta ($8.25) – Sahlen’s ham, salami, provolone, and fresh homemade olive salad on an French loaf;
The more creative:
The Body ($8.25) – Spiced pork loin, Sahlen’s ham, pickled carrots, jalapeño slices, topped with fresh cucumber slices, cilantro, and spicy mayo on toasted ciabatta;
The Hangover ($8.25) – Fried capicola, provolone, sautéed onions, cherry peppers, with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and topped with a fried egg on a hard roll;
In addition to everything else they have a Beer Battered Haddock dinner (fried or broiled) daily at $10.75 and a Fish Sandwich at $8.99.
We stopped in on a weeknight to a light crowd. Unlike most delis Joe’s on Elmwood is full service. We were seated immediately. We went inside because it was a bit windy but the outdoor seating along Elmwood is great. The inside is casual and comfortable with the bar a step higher than the seating area which is decorated in silvers and red and faces the strip.
Given the outstanding bar selection we just had to sample a little. My favorite companion ordered the Moscow Mule which was well done and served in the non-traditional but-oh-so-tall pint glass. I went with a Four Mile Allegheny IPA. Did I mention they have growlers to go. Nice!
Big Mike Wrap (new) $7.35 – Pesto chicken salad with field greens, sliced almonds, roasted red peppers, pickled onions and (asiago Cheese)with fries.
Thai Chicken Wrap $7.35 – mixed greens with chicken, carrots, scallions, shredded cabbage, and crushed peanuts in an Asian vinaigrette. House-made chips.
Both of these wraps were simply outstanding. It had been an active eating week and these were just filling enough yet lite and delicious. A nice fresh wrap, crisp veggies, and a touch of creative. What more can you say about a well constructed wrap/sandwich.
On a previous visit we sampled:
Cajun Meatloaf Sandwich (specials menu, $9.99) – house-made meatloaf, cheddar, provolone, green peppers, Cajun BBQ sauce, on grilled sourdough.
The bread was delightful, nice big slices with moist meatloaf cheese and peppers spilling out. The Cajun BBQ sauce was delicious – more Cajun tasting than BBQ. It made the sandwich. I would like to eat it with a spoon.