Carmen’s Deli is in downtown Dayton, opening in 2009. Chef Haitham Imam was encouraged by his wife Carmen to leave corporate dining and open his own place. When the downtown tower where they were located went into bankruptcy the owners of the Kettering Tower across the street, saw their popularity and offered them a spot in their building. The deli is open 8:30 – 2:30 weekdays and the bar runs 4-9 on Thurs. and Fri. As we entered we were greeted and directed to the counter where you place your order. There you can watch you sandwich being made and direct the toppings. After it’s ready you proceed to the register and pick a table. There were also tables outside. The pair cooking that day were personable and gave a good show. The food was fine, not outstading but very edible and satisfying.
The Reuben contained shaved corned beef topped with sauerkraut and swiss, served on thick Texas rye bread smothered in Thousand Island dressing. It was nicely dressed, I wouldn’t call it smothered. The balance of ingredients was good and the bread was nicely toasted with good rye flavor. Pickle slices were on the side. It was a good, not great Reuben.
Turkey Club Croissant contained smoked turkey, bacon, cheddar and swiss cheese with lettuce, tomato, lite mayo and honey mustard on a flaky croissant. This was a wonderful combination of ingredients but the croissant had a tough time holding them inside, but it did add a fun buttery component. This sandwich had good flavor with tasty ingredients.
We added some fries to the order, to split, and the cook gave us a generous pile knowing we were splitting them. They were a coated variety that comes frozen but freshly fried. They were hot and crisp and enhanced with some seasonings.