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July 8, 2012 / foodradar

9th South Delicatessen

The 9th South Delicatessen dining room

When I was just a young boy living in Fairbanks, Alaska my parents would always take me out for a special dinner on my birthday.  No siblings, just my mommy, my daddy, and me.  I had my pick of anywhere to go, so of course I always picked one of the most expensive and delicious restaurants in Fairbanks.  I really wish I could remember the name of the place now, because the food there was amazing, but a little expensive so we only went there for birthday dinners.  Even now as an adult there are certain places that I love going to on special occasions.  I would eat at places like Flemings, Market Street Grill, Tiburon, Copper Onion, or Cheesecake Factory a lot more but I don’t really have the budget to frequent there more than once or twice a year.   When it comes to where you can get an awesome sandwich in Salt Lake City, I’ve written about a number of places that are both delicious and great priced like Robin’s Nest, Siegfried’s, and Penny Ann’s Cafe to name a few.  There are even a few places that are awesome if you are in the mood to spurge a bit like Moochies.  Last week I had a chance to visit the 9th South Delicatessen over in the 9th South and 9th East area of Salt Lake which is just east of Liberty Park.  There are a lot of reviews out there that claim this place is too expensive, but remember there are two key words here.  Price and value.  If the food quality and taste does not match the price tag, then not only is it not a good value, but that place probably won’t stay in business too long.  9th South Deli is indeed a little expensive, BUT does the food quality match the price making it still a great value?  Let’s find out!

I had read and heard a lot about this place and have wanted to try it for a long time.  I really enjoyed the space and atmosphere at this deli.  They have nice tables and chairs, wood floors, and decor.  It was very clean and well lighted.  Also throughout the deli are different products like chocolates, exotic salts, and cheeses.  I never even knew you could have gourmet salts until I came here.  I spent probably 10 minutes sampling them.  They even had a little fridge with old fashioned soda pop bottles of different flavors and origins.  All these things are important additions to any deli.  I managed to exercise some rare constraint in the chocolate section, but didn’t quite fare as well in the desert display case.  I ended up getting a knish to go after eating my sandwich.  I’ll get to the knish later, but let me start with my sandwich choice.

The 9th South menu board

Turkey Sandwich with pesto spread

Each sandwich comes in three different sizes, 4 ounce, 8 ounce, or 12 ounces.  This is where some may scratch their heads at the prices.  My turkey sandwich I ordered at 8 ounces cost me $11 dollars.  It came with my choice of deli side salad.  After I sat down and paid for my meal, I remember thinking that this sandwich better be fantastic for what I was paying.  Guess what?  It was a revelation!  I don’t know if this photo does it justice, but the sliced turkey they put on this was simply amazing.  I don’t know how they made it so warm and juicy, but not overly grilled and greasy.  Turkey is one of those meats that if done wrong can be dry and gross, and it is also easy to recognize Wal-Mart bought sliced turkey, that has the “flavor fillers” inside.  You may actually only have 60% turkey with the rest just water and salt fillers.  Not this turkey.  This turkey was cut from the golden knife and taken from the turkey that laid golden eggs.  It was so good.  Also present and accounted for on my sandwich was delicious bacon.  I’m a bacon lover.  One time I ordered pizza for the office and went overboard and of the 6 pizzas I ordered, 4 of them were covered with bacon.  You can never have too much of it.  This bacon was just fantastically done and fit in just right on my turkey sandwich.  The pasta hiding out in the back of this picture was some sort of tomato bow tie creation that was heavenly.  Several gypsies were killed and their tears extracted in the making of that pasta.  It was so good, I didn’t want it to end.  Needless to say, even though my sandwich was more than other places, I would definitely eat here again.  I’ll have to try the 4 ounce version of something next time I come in though.  That size on most of the selections is only $6 or $7 bucks and still comes with the side salad.  I’ll also have to try their reuben sandwich next time too.  Like I mentioned before the group of four that came in before me were ranting and raving about the reuben and were seated 2 tables from me in the dining room.  While I was eating my sandwich I heard the most unholy moans and sounds coming from that table, so I guess that means they liked their food.

The display case for good boys and girls

Pictured above is perhaps the worlds second happiest display case.  The happiest?  Remember The Christmas Story when little Ralph was looking into the department store display case and he sees the Red Rider BB Gun for the first time?  Can you imagine how excited he felt at that moment?  That is kinda what was going through my little heart and mind when I saw the knishes, strawberry shortcake plates, and Zagat #1 rated NY Cheesecake!  I decided to go with the Yukon Gold knish, although I felt like I had 3 children, and was leaving 2 of them behind.  (sorry shortcake and cheesecake, next time my friends).  The knish was not only amazing, but at just under $4 bucks it was a steal of a deal.  (Take that haters that claim this place is too expensive!!)  If you like mashed potatoes and flaky pastry crusts, then you just met your match.  Coming from Idaho I cherish both, so this was a real treat.  A knish as explained to me by the lady who rung up my order is a traditional Jewish pastry.  Some other flavors they had were apple, sweet potato, and I believe a Thai Curry little number.

Yukon Gold Knish

Call it Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders, call it Alice in Wonderland’s Rabbit Hole, call it a classic NY Deli taken by space aliens and transported to Salt Lake City, Utah.  9th South Delicatessen has a certain amount of magic and charm for those who want a “special occasion” lunch time treat.  It could be a mother and daughter day shopping, or a birthday surprise, or could be some random fat food blogger dude looking for some tasty treats (*cough *cough)  My visit to this place was my first, but will not be my last.  Kudos to the staff of 9th Street for providing a good VALUE for those looking for something a little more than a common Subway or Quiznos sandwich.  If you want to pay little and fill the belly, don’t come here.  If you want magic and an experience that will leave you wanting more, then this is your place!

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