The same literary license must apply to the Spanish omelette ($5.50), one of the breakfast egg dishes that's available anytime at the deli. Victor's menu claims it's made according to an "authentic Barcelona recipe." Don't get me wrong -- it's a good omelette, folded fluffy and golden around a juicy filling of sautéed tomatoes and onions. But do Spaniards traditionally cook with jalapeño peppers? I don't think so. The home fries alongside, though, were authentically perfect: thin circlets of fresh potatoes lightly seasoned and panfried just right, none of those mushy shredded pretend-potatoes here.
I wasn't as happy with the cold beet borscht ($2.25). It's a beautiful burgundy color, of course, but so thin and watery that its billowy cap of sour cream almost immediately breaks down into unappetizing clots. I felt that I might as well have opened a pantry-temperature can of beets and drunk the juice.
Meat men: Victor Tayeri (left) and manager Tony Galati know how to pile on the corned beef.
(713)726-0001 and (281)5657997.
5300 North Braeswood, Suite 100 (100 Braeswood Square), and 13703 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land.
And sadly the same goes for the cheesecake and desserts, blighted by a lack of imagination. Perhaps it has been too long since I've eaten traditional deli cheesecake, and I've forgotten how bland it can be. When the menu says "plain cheesecake" ($2.35), that's precisely and painfully what it means. On a recent visit, a fancier version threaded with caramel and dotted with chocolate sprinkles was a bit better, but only just. I was even more disappointed with the chocolate cherry cake ($2.75 a slice); the layers of cake were dry, the cherries mushy and the whipped cream frosting tasteless.
But these are minor quibbles. I can happily ignore the beets, disregard the cheesecake and overlook the goofy tourist posters of Italy -- what are those about, anyway? -- in favor of the best Reuben in town. No matter how fervently Tayeri touts his dinner entrées, such as stuffed cabbage or beef brisket ("Good value!" he tells me. "Delicious!"), I can't help coming back for his sandwiches. Righteous deli meats and rye bread, I'm telling you, are what it's all about.