Stolichny European Deli
6855 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 358-1981
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Once we entered this nondescript shopping-center storefront, it was clear we were out of our depth. Almost everything was labeled primarily in Cyrillic, from the shelves of packaged groceries to the handwritten labels on the extra-long deli case/counter full of meats and seafood and pastries and homemade sides (stuffed cabbage, beet salad, etc.) and, whoa, everything, all being ordered up in Russian by a light scrum of patrons. There’s a small English menu of sandwiches, and feeling overwhelmed about diving into the native cuisine with no prep or guidance, we blurted out orders based on it. We got the impression that making sandwiches for de facto tourists wasn’t a primary activity for the women behind the counter, but one of them headed for the small produce section for a head of lettuce and got to work. A corned beef on rye ($4.99) was as respectable a rendition as found elsewhere along the Reisterstown Road corridor, and cheaper than most. A cold-cut sub ($4.99) offered up delectable meats and a fresh roll; Trinacria won’t lose any sleep over it, but it tantalized with the possibility that if something so rudimentary was this good, what would something they pride themselves on taste like? So yeah, you can get a decent sandwich, but that’s clearly just the tip of the iceberg, foodie-delight-wise. The 20 or so different salamis and sausages alone guarantee we’ll be back. Who wants to walk us through this? Seriously, volunteers can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re buying.