The Greek cold cut sub at Old World Delicatessen is a big sandwich. Portly. Granted, the largest contributor to its bulk is the roll, a hot dog-bun-class giant that threatens to take over the sandwich at every bite.
But at $5.25, this sub begins to look like a bargain. And the really wonderful part about this sandwich is where you buy it.
To build the sub, Old World takes the Italian cold cut standard and adds feta and Kalamata olives. Unless you're a major feta cheese fan, you may need to do a mining operation and either jettison some of the larger chunks or break them up and spread the cheese around some.
The Kalamata olives impart their wonderful flavor and texture in contrast to the rest of the ingredients.
The meats — salami, peppered ham, and Capicola — could have been distributed more evenly throughout – everything seemed bunched up in the middle. Still, the meats were what you'd expect from a good deli. A demanding standard is at work here. The meats were fresh, sliced thin, and expansively savory.
Wisps of lettuce, touches of onion and nicely ripened tomato slices vied with a hefty slosh of vinaigrette that overpowered the subtlety of the meats, where it pooled in places.
In all, Old World delivered a nice sandwich with volume and fresh deli flavorings. The one complaint is it seemed thrown together. The deli's menu has too many sandwich and wrap options — dozens — to let you think sandwich preparation is a side-operation tacked on to a meat counter. They could do better on the presentation end. So why am I still in love with this place? Because of the place.
I waited easily 15 minutes for a counter attendant to take my order — with only one customer ahead of me. That gave me time to check the place out. It's a shop well worth visiting if only for its many odd, old-world blandishments.
Huge jars of pig's feet, wieners and eggs steeped in red, spicy brine adorn the countertop. Whole smoked fish stare up at you from behind the display glass. Brands and labels you won't see at your supermarket stock the shelves. Irish oatmeal? Old World has it. Trinkets, candies, bakery, vegetarian knishes, you name it … well, heck, even if you can't name it, Old World probably has it. They even carry six-packs of unchilled beer.
It's safe to say you can find sandwiches that out-perform Old World's. But all the other places are going to have a hard time matching its character. The ambience of the old general store with an air of old European attitude make this deli a great place to browse and a dining adventure.
Old World Deli
Where: 9828 Liberty Road, Randallstown
Lunch hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Contact: 410-655-5157, oldworlddb.com
Lunch entrees: $4.50-$7