Finding a good Deli has been a challenge for me in Tampa. I have been searching for a pastrami sandwich to help ease my cravings for Katz deli in New York. Disappointment has followed me to every deli. A passable substitute has yet to be found but I keep hope alive. With that in mind, Dominick’s had pretty good reviews so I threw caution to the wind to give them a try.
Dominick’s is tucked away in the corner of a little strip mall called Bourbon Street Plaza on Ehrlich Rd. There is outdoor seating as well as more seating indoors. Troubling sign #1 was that the inside kind of reminded me of a diner, there was no deli vibe. No hanging salami or showcase sporting various cold cuts and maybe desserts. Troubling sign #2 is that Dominick’s doesn’t know what type of restaurant it wants to be. It tries to be too many things. This is the first deli I’ve ever been to that serves Italian food, Peruvian food, Burgers, Greek food, chicken wings, and a partridge in a pear tree.
I called in my order for pick up. The server was prompt, knowledgeably and friendly. He was from the Bronx and we waxed poetic about NY delis for a while. I asked if my sandwich would take me back home and he skillfully danced around a definitive answer and went in the back to get my order. My sandwich was OK. I ordered a pastrami on rye with mustard and extra pickles. I found out when I got home there was no mustard on the bread. I had some deli mustard in the fridge so no biggie. What freaked me out was all the melted Provolone cheese on top. In all fairness, had I read the description in the menu I could have opted not to have the cheese but I never thought of variations on
this classic. I scraped the cheese off and took a bite. It wasn’t tasteless like the pastrami at the Lucky Dill but it wasn’t good either.To add insult to injury the pickles were sliced sandwich pickles that tasted like they came from a jar. These were not Kosher pickles I could see why my server did not want to give his endorsement. I also got a dulce de leche type of cake to ease the anticipated disappointment and indulge my sweet tooth. No such luck. The cake was dry. I was disappointed with Dominick’s and doubt I will go back. In fact, the only thing that would make me curious to try again would be if Dominick’s narrows its focus and makes up its mind about what it wants to be.
I will continue my search for a great pastrami sandwich here in Tampa. I found Chinese food and pizza so I have hope that I will eventually stumble across the real deal. In the meantime, unless my cravings really get the best of me, I’ll wait until I get home and go to the winner and still champion deli in my heart, Katz deli in lower Manhattan.