The Diamond Deli (Second Visit)
 Akron, Ohio      Date of Visit:  07/24/15
 Click Here for Original Visit

To quote Zeppelin, It’s been along time, been a long time but we are headed home from the zoo and stopped by to revisit the Diamond Deli. While there was certainly some good stuff on our first visit, it just didn’t compare to Primo’s…our local deli favorite, especially the sandwiches. Today, I found the sandwiches to be much more competitive than I remembered on our first experience.


Reuben Went Down Much Better...Still Prefer A Deeper Corning Pickle

The Reuben was built on nice rye, loaded with Swiss and pungent kraut, had a tart spread of Russian dressing but when it comes to the corned beef…I still prefer the much deeper pickling at Primo’s. Good Reuben regardless.

We tried one of the specials, titled “Old Bald Guy”...not sure why that appealed to me even more so than the "The Captain Nifty Vampire Fangs Wrap". The old bald guy was delicious. Turkey, smoked gouda, bacon, green apple, onion, sundried tomato mayo on a grilled ciabatta bun. Tastes exactly like it sounds. Tart, sweet, earthy, smoky X2, piles of meat, what’s not to like.

We also tried the Italian sub, cappacola, ham, salami, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and Italian dressing. For me, you can’t beat the spicy Italian…yes, from Primo’s. Steph actually prefers Diamond’s… she's not so much into the spicy end of most equations. Both are excellent, if you like a bit of punch or prefer the more delicate, there’s a good option in town.


Special Sandwich Actually Special

Excellent Italian Down To The Sesame Seeded Bun

  The broccoli salad is stupendous, good tater salad, the fruit was much less peak this trip…sides are well done top to bottom.

The desserts were more of a split. The cheesecake doesn’t taste like much of anything outside of the cherry topping. It does however leave a seriously greasy residue coating your mouth innards.

The carrot cake remains a much, much better option. I realized the cake layer itself is much sweeter than Primo’s, which gets you an overall sweeter product with a thinner layer of cream cheese frosting than the thick blanket of frosting on Primo’s more savory cake. Both are pretty stupendous, as are the delis. Whatever your preference...Akron actually and maybe surprisingly does pretty well in the classic sammitch catergory.

This Would Convince Anyone To Eat Broccoli


Solid Salad Of Taters

Fruit Was Much Better Last Time

I Wouldn't Bother With This Again

But I Would Never Pass On The Carrot Cake

  Change in Ranking        
  Original Score Which Way? New Score Why For?  
  B- B+ Much Better Reuben & Sandwiches Overall Plus Quick
And Friendly Service Made For Great Stop
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The Diamond Deli
Akron, OH      Date of Visit: 03/05/10             No Known Website

This is going to be rough. Such a fan of Primo’s it was time to give another long standing Akron Deli a chance to show what they can do. The Diamond Deli is located right downtown and apparently does things the way they want. Once you figure out how to park you enter a somewhat claustrophobic space dominated by a counter and reach in coolers. They seem to keep hours that work best for them, closing the doors at 3 p.m. It’s loud, busy, and swathed in Zips memorabilia. Everyone is moving, all the time. “If you have time to lean…” anyone who has worked in a restaurant can complete that phrase and it appears a solemn mantra here.

I did my best to keep an open mind and was truly surprised by some of the findings. The soup du was a Cajun clam chowder which was rich thick, replete with clams and had a wonderfully spicy warmth that sat on the tongue.


Cajun Clam Chowder

The salads were familiar, but in ways you don’t often remember them. Fresh, bright, flavorful, they must be made in smaller batches to maintain such quality. Even the fruit salad, all fresh fruit, in March no less, was superior to anything I have had in other locations.

Now down to business. How are the sandwiches? In all sincerity they are really good, really big, and they will absolutely make you anything you want in addition to the staples and a varied menu of specials named after memories of families and friends. The only problem is they don’t stand up to Primo’s to me. The Rueben lacks the intensity of each ingredient which literally slaps your taste buds awake across town. The Cuban was recommended and delicious, but still had a muddiness of flavors that cost them the competition in the sandwich category.

Broccoli Salad

Fruit Salad


  Now the brass tacks. The Diamond Deli might not make as good a Reuben as some others, it might very well be my favorite Akron Deli. (It’s new so a couple hundred more trips are required for confirmation.) First I much prefer the sides and salads at the Diamond, and then we took the final test. Both places home-make their carrot and cheese cakes. Upon first glance into the self serve dessert case it appeared we were in for certain disappointment. The carrot cake didn’t have the tower of cream cheese icing and the cheesecake didn’t look like a brick of spectacular. In all honesty, however, both were simply amazing. Definitely home-spun, but with care and a wild abandon for general health consciousness, both signature cakes are fabulous.

Cherry Cheesecake


Luscious and Sweet Carrot Cake

If you can believe it, the icing on the carrot cake, at less than half the height of the Primo's version actually lends a sweeter note the the whole production. They are are wise to limit it's presence. Primo’s might be bigger with better sandwiches, but the Diamond takes the cake on other accounts. Sides, specials, desserts and an attitude that is one of a kind. An alternate universe where every (no really...every) employee is open and gregarious and going out of their way to ensure you are enjoying yourself between their constant cleaning fits, makes the Diamond a memorable experience for lunch that already has me craving a return visit.

House Root Beer




What's Best

What's Worst

  B B C A B B-  
        Desserts, Sides,
and Service
Some Disappointment
in the Cuban/Reuben
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