Scott, here’s a strange request. Please do not reviews Dylan’s Deli in Winter Park. It’s so amazingly good and so amazingly small, if you review it and say amazingly great stuff, we’ll never be able to get in. We like it the way it is. OMG, is it ever good!
Dylan’s has been on my radar for some time, and the number of people who have been sending me notes and asking if I’ve been there has been too great to ignore. So I took a trip to Dylan’s recently to see for myself.
It’s easy to find if you’re already familiar with Ravenous Pig. It’s practically right next door. It’s in a free-standing wooden structure that looks as though it may have been a house originally. A wood deck has been constructed in the space between Dylan’s and the building next door. Inside, the space is indeed small (cottage might be a better description than house), but it’s cozy and quaint and the decor is Frenchified, with a large picture of Paris and small wall plaques depicting bistros and such. There are some counter-height tables and stools, and a rather odd side room that looks as though it is meant to be a bar, but wasn’t set up as one when I visited. There are also ledges along the front windows with stools. That’s where I sat, and I found that the counters are set a bit high — it’s probably OK if you stand at them to eat but if you sit on one of the stools the counter comes up about chest high. Not very comfortable.
But the food I sampled was good. I was offered a taste of both of the soups of the day: a mushroom puree and a roasted red pepper. I like them both, but I selected the mushroom to go with the lunch combo that included soup and a half sandwich, plus a beverage, for $10.90. A tad dear on the pricing, I thought, but we’re talking an independent restaurant with presumably good ingredients (I’d already gotten a taste of the soups and knew they were freshly made).
We’re also talking a lot of food, despite the image of a soup and half sandwich image. I was not able to finish either, and it wasn’t because I didn’t want to. Besides the mushroom soup, which was full-flavored and had a nutty texture from the pulverized ‘shrooms, I had the Dylan’s on Rye sandwich, a sort of Reubenesque creation of corned beef, beef brisket, sauerkraut (sawer kraut on the menu, but I’m pretty sure we’re talking about the same thing), romano cheese and pear on a soft and fresh tasting rye roll. I have to admit I did not detect the pear, and, though not dry, I think the sandwich would have benefitted from a sauce, at least one served on the side. But the meats were plentiful, and the hot sandwich satisfied me.
Dylan’s is fast-casual — order and pay at the counter then have a seat; someone will bring the food to you — with a smile.
Dylan’s Deli & Bistro is at 11 98 N. Orange ave., Winter Park. It is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Here’s a link to Dylan’s website. The phone number is 407-622-7578.