The stretch of Preston Road that runs south from LBJ Freeway to Royal Lane has seen its fair share of delicatessens come and go. Many of us remember Wall’s Delicatessen, which opened in 1951 in Preston Royal Shopping Center. Then, of course, there was Gilbert’s in Preston Forest. Wall’s closed in 1990 and operates only a catering facility, and Gilbert’s ceased its cranky operation in 2004. Ed’s Deli, Deli News Too, Zinsky’s, Bagelstein’s, and Roasters’ n Toasters have all opened and closed in the last few years. Recently, Gio’s New York Style Deli debuted in the Deli News-turned-Roasters space at LBJ and Preston. There is nothing special about the interior, but there is plenty to like on the menu. Pastrami, corned beef, and kosher dills and half sours are shipped in from Carnegie Deli in New York. Bagels and bialys are made on-site. I’m sure deli purists will complain that the sandwiches are wimpy. Those listed on the “sandwich board” are made with about 7 ounces of meat. The specialty sandwiches—such as the ginormous RW’s double-decker filled with layers of corned beef, cole slaw, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing—are closer to 11 ounces. Maybe it’s a shiksa thing, but I prefer a sandwich I can hold with two hands. Like the scrumptious egg salad. Thick chunks of egg are lightly tossed with mayo and sit between two slices of fresh rye studded with whole caraway seeds. Each bite yields the light, earthy flavor of rye wheat followed by the pungent pop of caraway. Traditionalists will stay away from the gourmet Angus burger selections and be happy to nosh on smoked fish platters, herring in cream sauce, and a robust chicken broth scented with fresh dill and a delicately plump matzo ball (or kreplach) bobbing at the bottom. Here’s hoping this soothing soup can prolong the life of Gio’s.
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