While we can’t say for sure that the Woodlawn Deli is the “Best Kept Secret in Western New York” as emblazoned on its menu, it’s pretty darn close.
Not to be confused with the Woodlawn Diner down the road, the Woodlawn Deli has a surprisingly huge menu with good choices.
We three downtown lunch gals took a short ride to check it out.
The daily specials got us thinking. A chicken ranch sandwich or a bleu burger with fries and a drink for $8.99? One of our trio was swayed by the chicken quesadilla with fries and a drink ($9.78).
The regular menu, “Home of the $7 Cold Sub” and “Home of the $8 Hot Sub” (half $4.99, $5.49) features lots of choices from basic ham or turkey subs to Andrew’s Special (steak with fried peppers and onions). Subs come on white or wheat rolls.
Cheap basic sandwiches like bologna, ham, turkey and tuna ($4.99) are served on a roll, bagel or rye with lettuce, tomato, cheese and onion. Hot sandwiches (all $5.99) include the like of fried bologna, grilled ham and Swiss and breaded chicken. Cold wraps are $4.99, hot $5.99, and chicken or steak souvlaki or chicken Caesar, $6.99.
Specialty sandwiches (all $6.99) include interesting choices like the Woodlawn Stacker that layers meat (turkey, roast beef, ham) homemade slaw, Russian dressing and cheese on three slices of rye. A meatloaf sandwich comes topped with melted mozzarella and ketchup.
We ordered two half specialty subs — the Marilynn’s Special ($5.99/$9.89) and chicken in the grass ($5.49/$8). While tempting, the Mike’s Hitman Special ($5.99/$9.89) — steak, Italian sausage, peppers, onions, cheese and hot sauce — was a sure pending lunch coma.
Waiting for our food, we soaked in WD’s quirky ambiance at a table near the cookie-and-crackers shelves adjacent to the ice cream freezer.
We wondered if should we shop for items we needed (toilet paper, beer, WD-40). Instead we settled to watch the hunky construction worker guys stopping in for take out.
Orders were ready in a jiffy.
A delicious small chili ($3.19) was more soup-like, but flavorful. Chicken in the grass was really tasty with juicy chopped chicken pieces and plenty of spinach and cheese.
The Marilynn was outstanding. Garlic chicken chunks in “special sauces” filled a perfectly toasted wheat roll with lettuce and tomatoes.
The quesadilla was large, filled with chicken, onions, tomatoes and cheese and served on a mound of hot fresh steak fries.
Breakfast sandwiches are $3.59 for eggs with ham, bacon, sausage or Western style. Buy one get another for a $1. (The $7.99 “Denanator” breakfast wrap with bacon, sausage, hash browns, eggs, hot sauce and double cheese sounded intriguing, yet hangover-ish.)
A table near us had good-looking wings (10 for $9.89). A small 12-inch cheese pizza is $8.99 ($11.99 large). Small specialty pizzas like white or steak are $12.99-$14.99 ($16.99-$18.99 large). Tacos (veggie, beef, steak, chicken) are $3.99-$4.99. Many salads range from a taco, grilled chicken or cheeseburger ($8.59) to a large antipasto ($9.59). A daily fish fry is $7.99 (4 ounce); $12.59 (10 ounce).
It was a $1.99 Hershey’s Neopolitan ice cream sandwich (chocolate wafer sticking to our fingers) for the ride back to the office.
Should we tell our coworkers about Woodlawn Deli? Maybe, but we like the idea of keeping it our little secret.
Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
More: Credit cards; ATM on site; groceries, convenience items, beer and more.