First of all: the Taneytown Deli & Sandwich Shoppe is not in Taneytown. It's in Catonsville, tucked off an alley on Mellor Avenue. And it's been there since 1947, turning out big, fat sandwiches. I'm glad I finally discovered it.
It's not much to look at - a small building clad in, of all things, Formstone. (There's also an ice-cream shop that sits next to the deli.)
Inside, a small waiting area includes the usual chip and soda displays. In the back is a small dining room with a handful of tables. A tin ceiling and well-used black-and-white-tile floor give the space a homey feel. (Be sure to check out the wonderfully kitschy sculpture of a hot dog squirting ketchup on itself.)
Like all well-run delis, Taneytown had brisk service - if a bit short on cheerfulness - during a hectic lunch hour that filled the small waiting area.
While it serves breakfast six days a week, Taneytown is really about sandwiches. There are dozens on the menu, some with oppressively cute names like "the Poultry-geist," a sliced chicken and bacon sandwich. But, these are some serious sandwiches.
The Perdue's Pizzazz ($5.65) came loaded with mayonnaise-drenched chunks of chicken, tasty bacon, lettuce and tomato. It was huge and good, although I would have liked some extra spice to give it some of the promised pizzazz.
The Country Club ($5.45) was even bigger - thick piles of thin-sliced roast beef and turkey breast, sandwiched around slices of boiled egg, onions, lettuce, tomato and Thousand Island dressing. It was a handful but worked well.
A hamburger ($5.25) took several minutes to prepare, but it was well worth the wait: a delicious slab of smoky beef on a toasted kaiser roll. A side salad ($1.75) - cold spaghetti with broccoli and tomato in a vinegary dressing - was nothing special. The homemade ham and cabbage soup ($1.95), made with thin shreds of smoked ham, was hearty and good.
Blueberry pie ($2 a slice) made on the premises was as fresh as could be, had a nice crust and was not too sweet.
Taneytown has no parking lot, but there was space on the street, a short walk away.
Taneytown Deli & Sandwich Shoppe
Waiting area: * 1/2
Where: 10 Mellor Ave., Catonsville
Hours: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday; 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Prices: Sandwiches and salads from $2.65 to $7.95; credit cards accepted