You constantly hear you can't get good deli in Seattle. This is not true, but when the best deli in Seattle seems to be trying to hide in plain sight, you can understand the complaints. Look up Roxy's Deli in the phone book and you find one on First Avenue, and, true, you can order a Reuben there, and eat it among the heavily tattooed and pierced roadies taking a break from loading equipment at the Showbox across the street. But this Roxy's is Roxy's in name only, now owned by an Indonesian family more interested in (and adept with) nasi goreng than pastrami on rye. The real Roxy's, on the other hand, is not in the book at all, unless you know to look under "Cascioppo Brothers Italian Meat Market," which is a little counterintuitive when you long for a knish or a bowl of matzoh ball soup. But persist, push bravely through the Ballard hinterland, and you will be rewarded a thousandfold. That matzoh ball soup, for instance; you have to have at least a cup ($1.95, bowl $2.95) while you're waiting for your pastrami, corned beef, or brisket sandwich ($3.75 half, $6.95 whole); at least buy some frozen and keep it that way until you need the comfort that only perfect, strong chicken broth can give you. Those sandwiches, one and all, are glorious; so are the roast beef and chicken salad (both $3.50/$6.25); but Roxy's Reuben is beyond glorious: stuffed with Glick & Froyd pastrami cooked so long and easy that it's hard to distinguish in texture from the sauerkraut and Swiss and thousand island, this is one remarkable sandwich for $7.95. You can also get it in a turkey version, but come on, turkey on rye? Thanks to the Cascioppo connection, this is the best spot north of Salumi for a sausage or meatball hero ($6.25), and the grilled muffaletta (ham, salami, mortadella, and provolone spread with green olive relish, a steal at $4.95) is killer too. There's a flank steak hero (like the others stuffed with grilled onions and provolone, $7.25) if you ever get jaded with the other wonders and fabulous sides of potato salad, slaw ($3 per pound) and beer-battered onion rings ($2.75) . . . oh, hell, it's all great, right down to the grilled cheese sandwich ($3.95). Coming out of Roxy's, you're almost shocked to find the street Scandinavian-clean rather than Gotham-gritty. Roxy, whoever and wherever you are, we salute you! email@example.com
Roxys Deli at Cascioppos 2364 N.W. 80th St. in CROWN HILL, 206-784-6121 10:30 a.m.6:30 p.m. Mon.Fri.; 9:30 a.m. 6 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m.5 p.m. Sun.