The next time you're at Crocker Park, stop at Karl's

A group of friends enjoy an outdoor lunch at Karl's Deli in Crocker Park.

Just off the traffic circle at Crocker Park sit four food kiosks and one is Karl’s Deli, Corned Beef and More.

In 2007 Karl Abounader decided to branch out his downtown restaurant, Karl’s Inn of the Barristers, and open a location at Crocker Park. I have been to Barristers countless times during St. Patrick’s Day, Browns and Indians games or just dining out downtown. Being that there are few delis in Westlake, this is a welcome addition.

When you're ready to place an order, the King Corned Beef ($8.50) is always a winner. Stacked with thinly-shaved corned beef and Swiss cheese on rye bread; I like it topped simply with yellow mustard.  

If you’re really adventurous, try to tackle the “Big Mike” ($10.50). Giant portions of corned beef, pastrami, turkey and Swiss cheese on three slices of rye bread. You just might have to unhinge your jaw to get your mouth around this classic.

If you have a creative side, choose the Mix ‘N Match ($8). Five meats, four breads, four cheeses, four toppings and four extras let you be the chef.

Wrapping a sandwich is also an option. The California Club ($7) is turkey, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo in a sun-dried tomato wrap is a tasty choice, served with chips.

How about toasting things up with a panini? The Caprese ($7.50) – grilled chicken, buffalo mozzarella, roasted red peppers, garlic tomato mayo on sourdough bread – has delicious written all over it.

And for you, moms and dads, here’s something great to please the kids. The PB & J Panini ($4.50) with peanut butter, strawberry jam and bananas on sourdough bread is a classic; I’m glad it’s still around.

No deli would be complete without the Quarter-Pound All-Beef Hot Dog ($4-$5.50). The Hot Dog Special ($6) that will run from now and throughout the summer includes the dog, fries and a drink. That’s a real deal.

Speaking of fries, Fresh Cut Fries ($3.50-$6.50) served six different ways, may leave you with option paralysis.

Vegetarian selections can be enjoyed with wraps, paninis and a couple of salad choices.  

I could go on and on with other menu items, but it’s your job to go find Karl’s and experience it yourself.

This friendly, family-run operation has enjoyed five years of success at Crocker Park. So it’s my suggestion that you walk up, place your order, find a comfortable spot to sit and sink your teeth into the menu offered at Karl’s.

Rating: three stars out of four.

Karl’s Deli, 186 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake; 440-871-BEEF (2333)

Steve Novak

Steve Novak is a Westlake resident and 30-year veteran in the restaurant industry, working at all levels from dishwasher to manager to chef/owner. The Observer makes two anonymous visits per restaurant and does not accept complimentary meals.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 10:55 AM, 06.09.2012