By Joshua Avelar.
Before the Texas Longhorns football team’s season-indicative loss to the Baylor Bears on Saturday, I stopped by a quaint, friendly deli in my neighborhood. Fricano’s Deli sits on 31st and Speedway streets along the line where the two streets basically merge into one road. You may miss it if you’re not paying attention as it is a very small place next to a convenience store.
Fricano’s is ran by Chicago natives, and the Chi-town garb mixes in well with the Texas Longhorns paraphernalia, a must-have decorative theme being so close to the UT campus. Though the place serves excellent food fit for the North, it still maintains a very Austin vibe with inexplicable collectibles all over the walls. You definitely still get the deli atmosphere from Fricano’s with the order-up counter, visible meat-slicers and various pasta creations carefully displayed.
In traditional deli-going fashion, I order their Reuben sandwich, cleverly named Paul’s Reuben on the Fricano’s menu to add a little territorial ambiance to a deli staple (pictured in the beginning of this post). The sauerkraut was delicious and juicy, the corned beef bold and flavorful and the thousand island dressing was tasty but not overpowering, which is a lot more than I can say for other Reuben sandwiches I’ve had in Austin. I also ordered a side of their Italian pasta salad. I knew the Reuben itself would be enough, but I couldn’t resist the crumbles of cheese, ripe cherry tomatoes and delicious Italian dressing.
A friend of mine opted for the meatball sub, though her sub was far from the ordinary. The mozzarella smother the sandwich beyond recognition. Being that we were both cheese fans, this definitely did not bother us. It also came with a subtle helping of sliced, caramelized onions, just the right addition to make this meatball sub stand out from any other.
Fricano’s is a good place with a good vibe. It’s small so don’t count on eating-in every time. Sandwiches will cost you around $6 of $7 but with the Boar’s Head meat and fresh bread you definitely get more than for what you paid. Trust me.