Friends and readers have encouraged me to give Oakwood’s Flyboys Deli a try since I posted Facebook pictures of thicker-than-thick corned beef sandwiches found at places like Slyman’s and Superior restaurants in Cleveland.
I regretted waiting after taking my first bite of the Sam’s New Yorker at Flyboys, 2515 Far Hills Ave. in Oakwood.
The sandwich is different from the bigger-than-your-head corned beef sandwiches I grew up eating, and that’s just fine.
The Sam’s New Yorker is good just the way it is and there is really no comparison.
Where the Cleveland sandwiches are mouthwatering and simple — piles of thinly sliced corned beef with mustard, a pickle spear and maybe Swiss cheese on rye bread, the Sam’s New Yorker is dressy and delicious.
The signature sandwich — plenty for two people to share — is sort of like a hopped up Reuben complete with 5 ounces of both pastrami and corned beef, slices of cheddar cheese, mayo- based cole slaw and Russian dressing.
The $16.99 sandwich comes with a pickle spear, a bag of Dirty brand potato chips and a generous portion of potato salad or pasta salad.
It is a lot of food and I could only finish half of my meal.
The Sam’s New Yorker is one of 16 sandwiches sold at the business owned by retired United States Air Force officer Col. Steve Crandall and his wife Eunice Kim.
The other sandwiches - among them the “The Queens ” Roast Beef and “The DH-4” Italian Sub - range in price from $5.45 and $7.99.
Like the pastrami and corned beef found in Cleveland, the products Flyboys sells are tasty and flavorful without being too salty.
Crandall said a New York vendor was used when Flyboys first open. The deli now gets its meat from a Chicago vendor.
Customers seem to like the change, he said.
Breads come from Ashley’s Pastry Shop in Oakwood.
Crandall and Kim opened the deli in the former site of Cooper Deli a year ago. Kim managed Cooper’s Deli for about a month before it closed Oct. 30, 2012.
Crandall said Flyboys will celebrate its anniversary with a party January 25.
Details have not been finalized.
Crandall said a successful year in business is something to celebrate, particularly considering the rocky economic climate.
“We want this to be a big thing,” he said of the party.
The couple owned Akashi Sushi Bar at 2020 Harshman Road in Riverside before selling it to Helen Shin in April to focus on Flyboys. The purchased the sushi restaurant in May 2012.
Staffers don Crandall’s old flight suits at various times and Flyboys is filled with airplanes and military decor and memorabilia.
An impressive mural featuring WWII aircraft decorates the walls on the top floor.
The restaurant can hold as many as 115 people.
It has hosted meetings in the upstairs spaces and recently a wedding.
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