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New York Deli sits amid several other sandwich restaurants, which leads a person to wonder why downtown lunch diners would pick this spot over others.

Well, there are a few reasons, one of which is the evocative dining space, high-ceilinged with painted murals of old-time construction workers building skyscrapers and photos of the same.

The space is nicely lit, as well, with lots of natural light illuminating the half-dozen crowded tables in the tiny dining space.

Another good reason to stop by is the French dip sandwich my husband ordered, a deliciously rendered version with moist roast beef, melted provolone and grilled onions on a firm, chewy sub roll. He dipped it in a strong, nicely seasoned cup of jus.

I wanted the Cuban panini, with roast pork, ham, pickles and cheese, but the brusque and efficient manager informed me they were out of pork.

So I turned instead to the almond chicken salad sandwich, which despite its abundance of fresh diced chicken, was a bit disappointing, being far too bland for my taste ?— even with the crunchy sliced almonds in it and its soft, fresh sourdough bread.

Our son had the soup of the day, lightly herbed tomato basil with soft ravioli that made it more filling than that flavor usually is.

The rest of the menu made me want to come back, with ingredients like havarti cheese, roasted red pepper, teriyaki glaze and capicolla.

There are cookies for dessert, but given the size of the sandwiches, we were too full to indulge in one.

Subs and sandwiches $5.50-$7.95, wraps $5.95-$7.95, salads $3.75-$6.25.

Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret News.

New York Deli

Rating: ★★1/2

Where: 14 W. 300 South

Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.

Phone: 801-220-0516

Web: nyfreshdeli.com

Wheelchair access: Tight but accessible

Also: Box lunch catering available

e-mail: skratz@desnews.com