A deli’s been here for more than 30 years, but it took a new owner and bright new paint job for us to notice it. We had just bought plumbing supplies up the block, and like magpies drawn to flinty objects, we decided to grab lunch right there and then.
Montebello is more of a New York-style deli than the Baltimore variety, with its chalkboard of busily scribbled specials and cooler of Dr. Brown’s sodas. And it looked more Lauraville than Hamilton, with the Internet access in the corner. The sandwiches? Universally good. My Lord Baltimore ($5.95)—corned beef, pastrami, Swiss, coleslaw, and Thousand Island dressing on Big Sky rye bread—was fantastic. Not an impossible, overflowing mess, but a neat and filling mess. It’s true—bread makes the sandwich. My partner’s grilled veggie melt sub ($5.75) was stuffed with mushrooms, roasted red peppers, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce and held together by Havarti dill cheese. A “good, good sandwich,” she said, but she wished the sub roll was crustier (see remark about bread).
The owner is friendly and chatty, offering to make us exactly what we wanted and double-checking that we got it. It was a nice antidote to the “next please!” kinda joint you get when there’s just faded brown paint on the door.