Main Street Deli in Williamsville is the long-awaited venture of husband and wife duo Greg and Christine Gerard. The former Long Island residents opened their doors in November 2017 serving breakfast and lunch with a little downstate flair.
Nestled next to Ellicott Creek in the heart of downtown Williamsville, the location is on prime real estate for foot traffic once the weather clears up, but in the winter parking is a bit of a hassle.
To combat the cold, Main Street Deli offers local delivery to get your fix without having to brave the elements (or a parking ticket).
The interior is charming and very “Williamsville.” Weathered wooden floors and counter tops accentuated with black metallic trim give the restaurant a rustic-yet-upscale appeal that’s more lavish than “Long Island.”
Orders are placed at the register next to an elegant showcase of Boar’s Head meats, a concise offering of cheeses and a few homemade salads of the day.
The menu hung across the top of the order counter is sandwich-centric, with panini and wraps each surprisingly with their own names and distinct ingredient combinations providing a broad selection. The deli also sells Boar's Head meats by the pound.
If you stroll in early in the day, Main Street Deli also boasts one of the best breakfast sandwiches in the business.
Made-to-order on the flattop grill, its most notable variation on the breakfast sandwich is the LIE (Long Island Egg). It's prepared in the true Long Island tradition with two fried eggs, bacon and cheese on a poppy seed Kaiser roll ($4.99).
I ordered the Los Robles and the Royal Parkway, named after the surrounding neighborhood streets. Each comes with a pickle and the option to tack on one of the spoonable salads for $1 more.
The Mix ‘n Match option includes soup and a half-sandwich or salad ($9.99), or the combination of all three for $1 more ($10.99).
At the recommendation of an employee, I started with the Los Robles ($9.49) on a Luigi’s hero roll (options include white, multigrain, rye, kaiser, ciabatta and gluten-free). Layered with oven-roasted turkey, provolone, roasted red peppers, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle mayo, it’s a well-balanced sandwich that puts the quality of the Boar's Head turkey on display.
The spiciness of the mayo also a nice contrast to the gentle flavors of the meat and provolone. However, as a Costanzo’s man, I would have preferred a little more chew and density to the roll, but for presentation sake I understand why they chose otherwise.
One of the intriguing pasta salads (for $1 more) is the couscous salad with kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, red onion and artichoke. It was a pleasant and well-portioned side that packed a ton of Greek flavor.
The Royal Parkway ($9.49) comprises salami, pepperoni, ham, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, roasted red peppers and Italian oil. Craving an Italian deli classic, it delivered as advertised on the cornerstone spicy, salty and fatty flavors that you would expect, though there should have been another dimension to the flavor.
The red peppers added much-appreciated tang and depth, but I’d prefer mayo as an option over the Italian oil, preferably something even a little more gourmet like their chipotle mayo or roasted garlic mayo to help build out the value in the nearly $10 sandwich.
For a lunchtime bite in Williamsville, Main Street Deli is delivering a quality product. Creative but conservative in sandwich styling, I’d like to see a little more flair in the deli's offerings.
But in a competitive food category, the Gerards are counting on the quality of meats and other homemade dishes to form the building blocks to their reputation, and that’s a strategy for sustained success that nobody is going to argue.
Main Street Deli
5546 Main St., Williamsville (632-0674)
Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes.
Gluten-free options: Yes including bread.