Hate onions? Put ketchup on your ketchup? We all have unique likes and dislikes, so when you hear about a new restaurant, whether it be from a foodie or someone who lives off of toaster pastries, you don’t know if their tastes align with your own. So, instead of reading a review from one source, take it from four members of our team. Even though we are woefully underqualified to review a restaurant, at least one of us will likely share some of your distinct tastes.
For this issue, the PressureLife crew visited Larder Delicatessen & Bakery, and Eastern European-style deli located at 1455 W. 25th St. in Ohio City. The establishment, run by Jeremy Umansky, Allie La Valle-Umansky, and Kenny Scott, opened back in April of this year and already has developed a fervent following of fermentation fans. Did Larder meat expectations, or did we deem them the wurst? Find out for yourselves
Hands down the most wild experience I’ve had with food. Jeremy Umansky is definitely a master of his craft and just generally a nice guy. Every sandwich, cheese, and deli salad he had were delicious. For me, it started getting adventurous when the pickled smelt, lardo, and head cheese came to the plate. They tasted good, but the texture of it made me lose the battle of me completely swallowing them. At the top of my list was the fried green tomato and fresh tomato sandwich, pimento cheese, pastrami, and potato salad. Overall, I really enjoyed my time at Larder.
Larder is certainly a culinary adventure in curing, smoking, and pickling. After getting enough food to feed nearly 10 Jim Bachas, our crew got to try a plenty of delightful deli favorites and a few acquired tastes. Unless you’re the sworn enemy of salts and vinegars, you’ll likely to be able to find something you like at Larder. The sammiches were delicious, particularly a pastrami. If I was Bacchus, I’d have the cherubs feed me shard of this delectable meat instead of some measly grapes. The various pickles, salads, and fish also had some highlights, particularly the pickled apples and the whitefish spread. Like the others, the head cheese just wasn’t for me due to the gelatinous consistency, but hey, if you love it, Larder’s got it.
I ate head cheese. I ate head cheese. Frankly, I’m still not over it. As it turns out, I don’t really understand the intrigue for spreadable, jelly-like meats, although the actual flavors on the meat board were quite good if you can move past the whole texture issue. All of the sandwiches were excellent, but I especially enjoyed the lamb ham and cheese and the pastrami. I admittedly was a little unsure when Jeremy Umansky pointed out that we didn’t order any seafood and brought over a tray of fermented fish, but the whitefish spread ended up being one of my favorite parts of the meal. A few other highlights for me were the pimento cheese, the chips and dip, and the potato salad—but you really can’t go wrong with any of the sides. Overall, it was a great experience, I’m glad I tried some of the more adventurous parts of the meal, but am equally glad that Larder has something for everyone.
Larder is a salty wet dream. All four sandwiches we ordered were flavorful, filling, unique, and priced to please. The two-way tomato harnessed the flavor of a fresh garden picked tomato. It’s like summer cookouts at my grandma’s, except without my one weird aunt not letting her kids play with me. Spreadable meat is a superfood right? Freshly baked bread can only be complemented by perfectly seasoned meat spreads, and Larder has a whitefish and mettwurst option, both delicious. Think of yourself as a culinary Indiana Jones and order outside of your comfort zone. The pickled smelt feels like a cooked green bean and tastes like pickled fish. The head cheese and lardo melt in your mouth, but if you prefer chewing check out the lamb ham. Finally for all you real Evel Knievel’s out there, Larder has the best potato salad I’ve ever had.