Although the outside appearance of The Brown Bag Delicatessen is subtle, the restaurant, located about 10 minutes from campus at 898 Mohawk St. in German Village, has developed a strong reputation.
Inside, there is a rack of wine, a Jeni’s Ice Cream cooler and the smell of homemade somethings wafting through the air. In the schoolroom-sized restaurant, 1950s music plays and the door is open, welcoming the warm spring air.
Walking in, there’s a chalkboard on the wall with the day’s specials of salads and homemade soups. On the other wall is the sandwich menu.
“Mohawk Stroller,” “Curse of ’49” and “The Village Addiction” are just a few names of the specialty sandwiches offered. At the counter, behind a glass window are homemade sides including redskin potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, daily homemade cakes, brownies and chocolate chip cookies.
Looking past the counter is the kitchen. It does not hide behind any walls, inviting its customers to take a look.
The sandwiches are served warm and fresh with a crisp pickle on the side and within five minutes of ordering.
But what makes this different from other delis?
The service is friendly and the sandwiches are good. They’re fairly priced and worth every penny.
I ordered “Leroy’s Smokin’ Sandwich.” The sandwich is packed with pastrami, smoked ham, sauerkraut on rye bread and I asked for the thousand island dressing on the side.
The sandwich was nothing short of delicious and filling at the same time. Warm, crispy bread packed with a ton of fresh meat. The thousand island dressing was the perfect touch and all for $7.49. I left satisfied and wishing I could eat more.
It’s a neighborhood place to eat, said Amy Sokol, a German Village resident who said she has been to Brown Bag a dozen times.
“The sandwiches were really good and the service was friendly,” said Deo Martinez, a resident of the Short North, recalling his first visit to Brown Bag.
For $7, customers can buy a warm and filling specialty sandwich. If customers don’t find a sandwich that satisfies their taste buds, they can create their own specialty sandwich with their choice of meat, bread, cheese, veggies and dressing.
There are no fountain drinks. Instead there are two coolers with cans of pop, bottles of lemonade, water and other drinks.
“I come whenever I feel like I haven’t been here in awhile. … The sandwiches are warm and crunchy on the outside and cold on the inside,” Sokol said.
Brown Bag offers customers a choice of dining in or getting a “grab bag” lunch or dinner for diners on the go.
The owner of Brown Bag was not available for comment.