Always on the lookout for off-the-beaten-path restaurants, I stumbled upon a gem. Joni’s Deli is located on 1700 South between State and Main. You would almost expect it to be a mechanic’s shop, given the location. When you pull up, you still might do a double-take to make sure that it is, in fact, what you are looking for: an eatery that calls to you from within.
No matter how strict your diet, when you see the words “award-winning Philly cheesesteak” on the menu, you throw caution to the wind. The minutes between placing your order and receiving your food seem to stretch into hours due to the sound and smell of the steak, peppers, onions and mushrooms sizzling on the grill—all for $6.75.
There are a couple of well-known Philly cheesesteak places in Salt Lake City. They are delicious and I love visiting them, but oftentimes, if you don’t arrive by 11:30 a.m., you won’t get a seat. The steak Philly at Joni’s Deli is every bit as good as the ones at more crowded spots, and you don’t have to deal with that rushed feeling. Joni’s very much has the vibe of a “locals joint” that you would find on a backwoods highway.
Thankfully, the anticipation soon ended and the sandwich was in front of me. It was a sight to behold, with the slices of steak flowing on a river of melted cheese. The taste was breathtaking. The only anxiety came in the gray area of wanting to eat as much as I could without the moment ending too quickly. I could always come back for more, but in this now-or-never world in which we live, that seemed too far away.
“No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with Joni’s Deli” reads a sign resting on the counter. Whether it’s a steak Philly, Dagwood sandwich or garlic burger, your day and your problems will all be better.
52 E. 1700 South
Fri., Nov. 21, 6 p.m. / $99