Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Restaurant Reviews


Downtown deli delight; Perrysburg well served by Ping


Roman's Deli in downtown Toledo.

The Blade/Lori King
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Downtown office denizens, cubicle farm workers and white-collar executives take heed: If you haven't noticed that no-frills little joint on the corner of Huron and Jackson it's time to pay attention.

Roman’s Deli


Address: 526 Jackson Ave.

Phone: 419-254-0191

Category: Casual

Menu: Deli-style sandwiches

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Wheelchair access: Yes

Average Price: $

Credit Cards: Dis, MC, V

Ratings: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Outstanding; ★ ★ ★ ★ Very Good; ★ ★ ★ Good; ★ ★ Fair; ★ Poor.


Yum Yummy


Address: 10677 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg

Phone: 419-872-5888

Category: Casual

Menu: Chinese food and frozen yogurt

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Reservations are accepted.

Wheelchair access: Yes

Average Price: $

Credit Cards: Dis, MC, V

Star ratings are based on comparisons of similar restaurants. The Blade pays for critics’ meals.

Roman's Deli just across the street from city hall is a tiny building that packs a skyscraper punch when it comes to high-quality sandwiches. Sure the menu is limited and this isn't a traditional deli where you can order a half-pound of ham to go and a sack of bagels, but Roman's is a go-to destination for exceptional sandwiches served quick and fresh.

Owned by Mahmoud Girad for the past six years, the deli specializes in corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, turkey, ruebens, tuna salad, veggies, and falafil with a few side-salad option. No ham? Get over it, Roman's doesn't serve ham. No bagels? Nope, no bagels either. But the rye is fantastic.

With meat coming from a Cleveland butcher, Roman's corned beef (which is corned by Mr. Girad, a retired Ford worker) is addictive. Shaved thin and lean and bursting with flavor, the corned beef on rye with swiss cheese and mustard ($5.99/$7.99) is an ideal sandwich. The meat is exceptionally tender and practically dissolves in your mouth.

Roman's pastrami ($5.99) has a big, muscular, peppery flavor that is bold but stops just short of being overwhelming. Mr. Girad serves mountainous sandwiches, so be prepared with a couple of napkins.

We've also sampled the falafil -- deep-fried balls generally made with chickpeas, fava beans, or both -- and at $3.99 and served with a salad and sauce it makes for a nice, light lunch that satisfies your need for fried food and protein without having to go the greasy meat route.

There's nothing fancy about Roman's and the place only holds about four to five people standing at a time so everything is to-go. Just head in past the register, go to the left of the counter and watch Girad work his magic. Roman's delivers to downtown destinations. Canned soft drinks and bagged munchies are available.

Yum Yummy's carry-out menu says it all: "Healthy Traditional Northern Chinese Food, Call Advance for Better Services."

After cooking at Chinese restaurants, Ping Gao started her own, eschewing deep frying and monosodium glutamate.

Petite with short hair, Ping welcomes you into her homey little shop off I-75 as if you're family. Mother Ping knows best, on top of which there's just enough of a language barrier for guests to accept that capitulation is the road best taken.

Ping frowns when a customer uses soy sauce on lunch, akin to dumping ketchup on a souffle. She'll tell you that you don't want shrimp with walnuts, or that white rice will be fine instead of the brown rice you've requested. How's that lamb and bread ($9.99), listed under Traditional Chinese Food? Better in winter, says Ping. And the black bean paste noodles ($8.99)? Only Chinese people like that.

On one visit, Ping and her husband apologized for the appearance of the dumplings/pot stickers (eight for $6.99), which we thought were delicious along with their dipping sauce. They were having problems with the freezer.

Sauces, made with scant salt, fat, and oil, were uniformly good. Meats were beautifully marinated, but we couldn't wheedle the ingredients out of her. Here's what we liked (and that Ping let us order).

My favorite: Mongolian beef ($6.99 lunch/$8.99 dinner) is marinated, thin, and tender, drizzled with a terrific sauce and crisp snow peas, sweet onions, and broccoli.

Curry chicken ($6.99), breast meat in another fine sauce with fresh veggies, was a close second.

Ping negated my order of shrimp (medium-sized) with honey and walnuts ($10.99/ "too sweet, you won't like it"), offering instead shrimp with almonds and veggies ($12.99, but she charged me $11.99, I think because the Pepsi was flat).

Ma Po Tofu ($8.99) is a huge bowl with one-inch cubes of fresh tofu in a spicy sauce.

Both egg rolls (99 cents each) and spring rolls ($1.50 for two) were satisfactory.

Lunch, until 2 p.m., includes chicken and beef specials with rice ($5.99 and $6.99 respectively).

And for the Chinese-averse, a few American items (tuna, salmon, buffalo wings, chicken nuggets, and fries), are offered.

Soft-serve frozen yogurt with a variety of toppings is scrumptious ($2.20 to $4.50), but she's often out of certain flavors.

Note: Service can be slow, even if you've phoned in your carry-out. Ping appreciates a call when sushi will be ordered (dragon, tiger, California, Mexican rolls (5 for $6.99), and soft-shell crab rolls (5 for $8.99), or when a group is coming. And she's loathe to take premium credit cards with rewards.

Contact Bill of Fare at fare@theblade.com.

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