Pig out

Urban Deli’s “Double R” pastrami is a classic deli bite named after a busy local boulevard.

Urban Deli’s “Double R” pastrami is a classic deli bite named after a busy local boulevard.


The Urban Deli is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Learn more at theurbandelireno.com.

The recently opened Urban Deli purports to be “Reno’s Premier Delicatessen,” which is a pretty bold claim for a small sandwich shop that prominently touts “Boar’s Head” products throughout their sandwich offerings, along with a couple of soups and salads. If you’re going to claim to be top of the class right out of the gate, your wares best be astounding.

Though—as with most delis—you can order whatever combination catches your fancy, the signature sandwiches are named for prominent local streets. The Double R ($8.95) is pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and housemade Russian dressing on marbled rye—sounds familiar. The balance of ingredients provided a solid and enjoyable Reuben experience, though the lightly toasted bread was defeated by being served in insulated to-go wrap, despite our dining in.

The Green Acres ($8.95) was among the most satisfying vegetarian sandwiches I've seen, with avocado, alfalfa sprout, radish, tomato, onion, black olive, pickle, cucumber, Boursin cheese and garlic pesto. Though normally served on herbed focaccia, my friend substituted a wheat roll and appeared pretty happy with her selection. The Pyramid ($8.95) featured Albacore tuna salad, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion and garlic pesto on a wheat roll and was similarly enjoyed by the diner who chose it. I prefer more seasoning in tuna salad, but perhaps I'm just weird that way.

The Virginia ($8.95) involved Virginia ham, hard salami, Vermont cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion and garlic pesto on a soft roll. Nothing to note other than this is a pretty enjoyable combination, and the garlic worked well against the ham and salami. Furthering the ham train, the Lakeside ($8.95) was Black Forest ham, turkey, bacon, jalapeño pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle mayo on sliced sourdough—spicy, meaty goodness.

The Kietzke ($8.95) starts with London broil roast beef, combined with horseradish cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion and horseradish cream sauce on a Dutch crunch roll. However, the kid who ordered this skipped the cheese and sauce, which is a shame being those items sounded the most interesting out of the bunch. His mom outdid him on simplicity by ordering plain pastrami on sourdough ($8.95), though both seemed happy with their meals. I thought it odd that London broil was specified (a term used for flank steak, top round or any number of other cuts), until I realized it's a Boar's Head marketing pitch. It was as good as any other commercial roast beef.

Two kids' sandwich baskets were ordered ($5.95), one turkey, one tuna—both on white bread—with goldfish and a juice box. I didn't sample these, but heard no complaints. My own choice was the McCarran ($8.95) with Virginia ham, pastrami, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, deli mustard and mayonnaise on Dutch crunch, with a cup of New England clam chowder ($6.95). I'll admit I ordered this just to provide diversity for the review—I originally had my eyes on the Double R—but I ended up really enjoying it—nothing exceptional, but a perfectly acceptable lunch bite.

If I was on the south end of town and needed a non fast-food nosh, I'd certainly consider stopping in again. Would I go out of my way to head there for a “premier” sandwich experience? Perhaps not.