The foundation of any delicatessen or sandwich shop is this month's Sandwich of the Month: The Italian. It has many names: grinder, spuckie, zep (zeppelin), Po' Boy or Poor Boy, hoagie, wedge. But around these parts, it's an Italian sub. Typically, a 6- or 12-inch Italian or French roll split lengthwise, sometimes cut in half, sometimes opened into a V-shape; ingredients include a varying combination of salami, mortadella, ham, thin-sliced pepperoni, capicola, prosciutto and provolone cheese served with lettuce, tomato, onions and peppers with a mix of vinegar and pickled peppers. When Tom Blair decided to open a downtown deli with New York style, the first sandwich on the menu had to be the Italian. Blair and family opened 7 Deli, 711 N Hudson Ave., on Aug. 31, just west of the Oklahoma City Federal Building in the space long occupied by Allen's Cafe and owner Hayden Allen. This isn't the Blairs' first sandwich endeavor, having opened and sold a successful store in Enid and in Quail Springs Mall. But the downtown space needed a lot of work. "We spent a lot more money on the remodel than we intended," he said. But the result is a fresh-looking space with tributes to Bobby Murcer, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Roger Staubach and assorted Sooner sports legends on the brick walls. The kitchen has a window overlooking Hudson Avenue. As for the sandwiches, The Italian leads the way with salami, ham, capicola, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, dressing and crushed hot cherry peppers. 7 Deli is certainly not the only place in town where you can get a good Italian sub, but it's one of a very few where you can get one with a slice of Carnegie Deli cheesecake. Nor will you find a sandwich with the heft of 7 Deli's No. 7 — 1 pound pastrami, 1 pound corned beef served with swiss cheese on rye. Babe Ruth probably could've taken one down, but Bobby Murcer and The Mick would've likely opted to share. But the starter sandwich for this newly started sub shop is The Italian. After you've tried it, you may venture all the way to the No. 7 or you may stay put, not wanting to mess with success. Either way, you'll have a new locally owned spot to join the downtown sandwich rotation. Find, rate and review more Oklahoma City restaurants on Wimgo.com
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