August 2010 Issue
Known for incredible sandwiches, artisan cheeses, baked goods and traditional Jewish specialties, this deli is a must-stop spot in German Village.
It turns out that there actually is such a thing as a free lunch — at least, that is, if you’re referring to “#21 Gene’s Free Lunch,” a staple on the sandwich board at Columbus’ Katzinger’s Delicatessen. The sandwich comprises hot, house-made corned beef, roast beef, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing on pumpernickel bread, and the “big” size — all sandwiches come in either “big” or “huge” — is $10.50 worth of delicious.
Katzinger’s opened it doors to hungry German Village diners in 1984 and their colorful, caricatured menu features 77 sandwiches — ranging from pedestrian to the extreme — salads, soups and dogs, breakfast fare and desserts — including brownies and cheesecakes made right in the Katzinger’s kitchen.
Foodies delight in a chance to eat their way around the world at the deli, which packs a surprising selection of retail, bakery and one of the best cheese cases in Columbus, into its smallish space. Order a Katzinger’s Specialty Cheese Board ($11.95), and taste Cave-aged Gruyere from Switzerland, Manchego Curado from Spain and Fromage d’Affinois from France paired with fresh fruits and a crusty baguette.
For a taste of the Big Apple, order “#64 There’s Nothin’ Like Naima” ($8.75), a generous pile of hot pastrami — imported from Brooklyn, of course — with spicy mustard on hand-sliced Jewish rye. I’m a bread junkie and the Jewish rye at Katzinger’s is to die for. To round out the meal, enjoy unlimited trips to the dill and garlic pickle barrels.
In the mood for chicken? Try “#51 Cousin Barbara’s Balancing Act” ($10.50), a grilled chicken breast marinated in balsamic vinegar and Honeycup mustard, Vermont white cheddar, lettuce and spicy peppers in oil, grilled on hand-sliced rye with a side of sour cream. The combination of peppers and creamy cheddar cheese is the perfect balance of both flavors and textures. For a vegetarian favorite — it’s vegan, too — try “#54 Doug’s Vegetarian Head Plant” ($7.95), garlicky marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, spinach, cucumber, lettuce and tomato in a tasty pita.
Dining in at Katzinger’s makes for great people watching, especially if you’re lucky enough to snag a table out on the sidewalk. Lines get long at lunch, — the place was voted “Best Sandwiches” for 2010 by Columbus Alive! — but most diners are brown bagging it back to their offices.
If you have a crowd to feed, check out Katzinger’s catering menu, which features everything from mini versions of favorite sandwiches to smoked fish trays, box lunches and freshly-baked cookie assortments. Catering orders are prepared fresh the day-of and can be picked up or delivered.
And as if that wasn’t enough deliciousness, the traditional Jewish specialties on Katzinger’s menu are something truly special. They offer potato latkes with sour cream and applesauce, potato knish, cheese blintzes, chopped liver made with real schmaltz, herring and a smoked fish plate that is a delightful brunch item. And then there’s the apricot noodle kugel ($2.95), a sweet, baked noodle pudding that’s simply the most comforting food in the world. The deli also features special menu items for Passover.
Thanks to its German Village location, and new parking lot, Katzinger’s is a great jumping off point for exploring area galleries, shops and bakeries. Of course, you can shop at Katzinger’s, too. The deli’s impeccably chosen array of cheeses, oils, vinegars, jams and chocolates is just one more good reason to pay this Columbus institution a visit.
Katzinger’s Delicatessen, 475 S. 3rd St., Columbus, Ohio 43215. 614/228-3354. katzingers.com. Mon.–Fri. 8:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Sandwiches $7.50–$12.50. CR