Authentic New York-style deli food in NW Ohio — that’s the promise for diners visiting Oregon’s Big Apple Deli. Owner Tim Williams and his staff brought a taste of New York eating here over 35 years ago, and that experience shows in the quality of their product. And they deliver on that promise. For a fresh, filling lunch that (mostly) won’t break the budget, take a bite out of this Big Apple.
There are no frills at the Big Apple Deli. Housed in a small, unassuming brick building, the restaurant is marked by a large yellow-and-red sign shouting its name. The interior features plain wooden tables, with a few photos of the Manhattan skyline and pennants of NYC sports teams for atmosphere. Big Apple is not concerned with interior design, instead, it lets flavor do the talking.
The heart of it
The counter staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. The meat selections, displayed behind glass in a refrigerated case, are ready to be sliced, fresh to order.
Hanging above the counter, a list of sandwich options is displayed, many with names consistent with the “New York” theme— The Central Park, The Madison Square, the Meatless Manhattan (three kinds of cheese, so not exactly vegan, but a nice vegetarian option). We ordered a traditional New York sub, a Broadway (ham, roast beef, turkey and cheese) and a Times Square (roast beef and cheese).
If the listed combos are not quite what you’re looking for, not to worry, as diners are welcome to name their own ingredients, listed on the “Construction Zone” menu. But be mindful— even for appetites as healthy as this humble scribe’s— the small sub ($4.59) is satisfying and sufficient. If you need something bigger, a whole sub ($7.49) is available (you could always take half home for a later meal).
They make it there
With freshly sliced meats, piled high and paired with a large variety of fixings, each bite is delicious. Veggie add-ons, fresh and crisp, and a bevy of condiments, compliment the flavors. The only disappointing aspect of the sandwiches, and then only slightly, was the bread. The pre-packaged sub buns did not provide the flavor that is virtually omnipresent today as most chain sub shops bake on-premises.
As a side, we decided to split an order of the day’s special, macaroni and cheese with bacon ($4.99 for a pint-sized bowl). We expected a sharper flavor from the cheese sauce, which was home-made. But the side dish came off as somewhat bland, as only the bacon added a bit of kick to the dish.
The siren song of a sweet dessert proved too loud to ignore, drawing us back to the counter to order a slice of Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie ($4.79). With a lighter texture (resembling cheesecake) and peanut butter chips spread throughout, the pie was sweet but not too sweet, a beautiful final note to the meal. The price was reminiscent of New York, too— almost five bucks for a slice. If you’re brave enough, try out Tim’s namesake sandwich, the “Timzilla.” Just brace yourself first.
Start spreading the news
We came away from our experience at the Big Apple with a smile, comfortably satisfied. Toledo diners looking for an option off the beaten track that serves delightful fresh sandwiches should plan a visit to the Big Apple.
Open 8am-7pm, Monday-Saturday
Big Apple Deli, 2118 Woodville Rd., Oregon
419-698-2344 | big-apple-deli.com