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In Seneca Falls, Locals warn of Giant Sandwiches at Downtown Deli

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by Karen Miltner
originally published October 23, 2008 at

Regardless of whether you are the type of person to call the glass half-empty or half-full, most people would call the half-sandwich at Seneca Falls’ Downtown Deli a whole lot of food. That was the lowdown in downtown Seneca Falls one afternoon earlier this month when I was soliciting the locals for lunch recommendations.

“The halves are huge,” one shopkeeper told me.

“Don’t order a whole sandwich, you won’t get out alive,” a passer-by warned.

Duly warned, I walked into this main drag hangout glowing with retro neon, chrome and big, shiny cushy booths. I stepped up to the counter, read through the 20-plus picks of hot sandwiches, and decided on a Reuben, which here gets the wacky title of Paul’s It Sure is Enough. The gooey, meaty, giant half was cut in half, with sauerkraut and Russian dressing oozing out, making me wonder if I had ordered a half or whole. But sure enough, at the cash register, the tally was less than $5.

Why did I throw in a mac and cheese? Because I had all that money to burn. A palate-cleansing pickle was in order, too.

The Deli has subs and soups and chili and salads, and cookies, brownies and slices of cheesecake. If you want something stiffer than soda or water to wash it down, there’s Coors Lite and Swedish Hill wines.

By the way, if you think you can’t get anything for less than a nickel anymore, you’re wrong. For just a penny, you can buy a peek into your future and slimness, as the leftover scale from the former pharmacy not only tells your fortune, but it also dials up your weight. “I think it’s 5 pounds in your favor,” says owner Ann Sandroni.

I skipped the fortune-telling weigh-in. Even a half-sandwich and a few bites of mac and cheese gave me the belt-tightening sense that a 5-pound credit would not be enough for me to leave on a light note.

Cheap Eats Picks

What I ate: Half a Reuben for $4.29; half a pickle for 50 cents; small macaroni and cheese for $1.99.
Other good deals: It’s all pretty affordable. Whole subs and sandwiches top out at $7.29.

Downtown Deli

Address: 53 Fall St., Seneca Falls.
Phone: (315) 568-9943.
Hours: 10:30 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday
Accessibility: The outdoor deck is not wheelchair accessible. Neither is a portion of the seating, which is raised on a platform.
Good to know: Breakfast bagels and baked goods available. Kids’ specials. Street and public parking in back of building. Outdoor deck with view of Cayuga-Seneca Canal is open in nice weather. The Deli offers a free Thanksgiving meal to anyone in Seneca County.

Karen Miltner
Picture: Karen Miltner

Karen is an eternal omnivore and self-avowed vegesexual who is happiest in the kitchen or at the table with friends and family. Prior to being a reporter, she schlepped for various food-related businesses in Seattle. She lives in Irondequoit.