Milo’s Deli and Cafe Restaurant Review

Franklinton is a great part of Columbus. Sandwiched in-between the less-fun side of the river downtown and a really bad neighborhood, this thin slice of Ohio’s history has more than its fair share of icons. It really is hard to pick a favorite, from sharing a romantic dinner-date next to a rowdy table of 5-year-olds in the “Caboose” at the Spaghetti Warehouse to running around Cooper Stadium, screaming like a little girl during Terror Park in the Halloween season. If you could accuse Franklinton of being one thing, it would certainly not be “boring.”

Unfortunately, the bar is set just a little too high for Milo’s Deli and Caf© on West Broad. On the positive side, most of the menu items are reasonably priced and there are some interesting sandwiches. However, the lack of an interesting interior atmosphere is really hurting the place. Reminiscent of the cafeteria in the basement of the old COSI building (except smaller and a deli), there really isn’t much to look at. While dining in is an option, I would put this place of your list of places to grab a quick bite to go. If you feel dining in is a must, here are some stats:

Age range of patrons: 45-75 years old
Approx. % of patrons hailing from Upper Arlington: 20-30%
Interesting fountain pop options: None
Friendly staff: Not really
Much friendlier WW2 era Veteran: Yes
Clean Restrooms: Yes (Although the Women’s room could have been a disaster)

Now, on to the breakdown.

Juror # 12

I’m just going to come out with it, I was really disappointed with this place. A truly great deli is hard to find. It’s probably even harder to operate. But coasting by with an average deli should be a piece of cake. It’s simple really; have awesome side dishes and put a ton of meat on the sandwiches. Milo’s executes neither of these deli standards.

It’s too bad, because the sandwich I ordered really had me excited. The “Prime Deal” promised a feast of roast beef, pastrami, cole slaw, steak sauce and cheddar cheese on a French baguette. The reality: one thin slice of roast beef and one thin slice of pastrami, not enough cheese and not enough cole slaw. The real issue, though, was the bread. It completely dominated the sandwich. Every bite was an 80:20 ratio of bread to other ingredients.

To make matters worse, the baguette was terrible. It tasted like it was a week old and came out of a plastic bag. The final nail in the coffin: the bread wasn’t even warm. In fact, it was cold – which made chewing it a real chore. In the end I had to remove the top slab of bread to even taste anything else: very un-sandwich like.

I also had a side of pasta salad – nothing fancy but nothing to complain about. However, it did not taste like it had been made in house. Each sandwich also comes with a pickle and a bag of potato chips. Together, these were my favorite part of my meal.

Verdict: 3/8 PJs
My score would be even lower if I hadn’t tasted Juror #11’s sandwich, which was way better than mine.

Juror # 11

The experience at Milo’s Deli started great; an old regular talked our ears off about how great the food was and about his favorite sandwich, the Mr. Turkey. The Experience quickly went downhill from there. The cashier was unenthusiastic and, quite frankly, seemed annoyed when I asked about her favorite food choices. I settled on the Grilled Italian Gangster, macaroni salad and a drink. The price was under ten dollars, which was nice. The side, on the other hand, was not so nice. It tasted worse than the prepackaged stuff you can buy at the grocery store.

The sandwich was a little better. The bread it was on was really good, and the mix of veggies to meat was also just about right. The problem with the sandwich was the bologna – which is nothing against bologna – they just used too much of it and it overpowered the rest of the meat on the sandwich. The place seemed to be a mixed bag of good, bad and average. My sandwich fell in the latter, my partner’s looked like it fell in the bad, but that old regular’s Mr. Turkey looked delicious — Maybe I should have taken his advise and left with a good lunch and an average experience; instead I left with an average sandwich and a disappointing experience.

Verdict: 4/8 PJs
I might have given Milo’s a higher score if I hadn’t tried my partner’s sandwich, which was awful.

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