Ranelli’s Deli has been on the southside of Birmingham serving sandwiches, salads and pastas since 1971. It is family owned and operated and has live music some nights. The place was a former gas station so there is parking on 2 sides. Inside you approach the counter and make your order from the sign above and pay. They will call out your name when it’s ready. In the meantime, you can look around at the jam-packed room filled with music memorabilia and other things. In the back of the room is a small stage where live bands can play. There is an assortment of small tables crowded into the room with soft music in the background. Their Italian dinners looked like quite a deal and they were served all day. I’d go back and try those but we just wanted a sandwich midway through the day. We should have split one – they are large and packed with ingredients. Nothing outlandish here, just good solid plain food.
The Lil Richman sandwich is an 11″ (they also offer a 16″ one) po-boy served on fresh Italian bread and stuffed with ham, corned beef, peppered beef, Genoa salami, pastrami, Swiss, provolone, mustard and topped with Ranelli’s olive salad. The Italian bread was nicely soft even with a bit of heating – that melted the cheese. The olive salad was mostly sliced green and black olives and a few pieces of pickled peppers. This sandwich had more flavor than the other one but there were so many meats none really stood out. If you want a good blending, this would be it.
The Italian Club Sub contained ham, Swiss, turkey, provolone, lettuce, tomato and dressing. The bright red tomato slices were on top but it’s still a bit early in the season for good flavorful ones. The sandwich had been heated to melt the cheese but toughened the bread a bit. It was a nice sandwich but a little on the dull side.