My food wanderings have left me with an insatiable craving for out-of-the-way, inexpensive joints; otherwise know as dives. Two weeks ago, the decision as to where to meet for lunch with a couple friends, was left up to me; a common occurrence. Many times I have driven by a restaurant on the corner of 1700 S. Main St. that caught my eye. I did not know the name of it however, so I told my friends the address. One friend replied that it was Joni’s Deli. As I was driving there, I saw Joni’s Deli on the south side of the street, further east from the restaurant that I had in mind. No worries, I turned into the parking lot and immediately liked what I saw.
It looked just like something I would search for while on a road trip: local joint, hidden, inexpensive. This place had a cheese steak combo and cheeseburger combo advertised in the window for $8.99 and $6.99 respectively. The first combo sounded great so I entered prepared to order. My heart was broken was Joni told me that they were out of steak. What now? I actually have to read the menu? She then said that if I didn’t mind waiting a few minutes, the food delivery guy would be there in a few minutes with the steak. No problem, I ordered a cheese steak, paid, and waited.
And the wait (only 10 minutes) was worth it. The steak was overloaded into the bun and partnered with onions, mushrooms, and peppers. The bun was firm and never got soggy-maybe because I ate it too quickly. The french fries were thick, firm, seasoned, and delicious. The meat had just enough sweetness to it which paired well with the vegetables. Three refills of Dr. Pepper helped to wash it all down.
|Yum. I am tempted to drive down there after I write this post. Except that it is Saturday and they are closed.|
The interior had a cafeteria looked to it which has never been updated and I hope it never does. It really reminded me of something I would find off a back-woods highway in South Carolina.
Joni’s slogan is “No day is so bad that it can’t be fixed with Joni’s Deli.” It couldn’t be more correct. Stop by here once a week and your problems will seem so small. It’s strictly a lunch time joint and closed on the weekends. See you there soon.