Dayton has a new aviation team in town and you can find them at Flyboy’s Deli, right in the heart of Oakwood. Although the deli opened in 2013, I have driven by it many times without realizing what a gem was behind those doors.
Flyboy's pays homage to our great city with menu items named after some of Dayton’s greatest innovators, such as poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Wright Brothers. The warm interior welcomes you in to sit down, try some good food and enjoy a delicious drink.
Located at 2515 Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood, the deli includes a dining room and bar area. There’s also a rooftop deck with a great view of Oakwood, which I didn’t investigate because of the chilly weather on my visit, but I look forward to trying it on my next trip. Parking is available right in front of the deli, along the side of the building and behind Chico’s clothing store on the other side of Far Hills.
The food & drink
The menu offers soups, salads, wraps and paninis as well as typical NYC deli-style pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. For those with a big appetite, there is “Sam’s New Yorker,” which is 5 ounces of pastrami and corned beef with thick slices of sharp cheddar cheese, topped with coleslaw and Russian dressing on marbled rye bread. At $16.99, the price is surprising – but the serving you receive could feed a family! I didn’t try it this time, as I opted for a small portion on this evening. I was tempted to try the pizza offering and “The Mae West” Rueben Pizza almost lured me, but my mood for a sandwich overruled my temptation.
Selecting a sandwich is just the first step of this delightful process. After deciding what to eat, you get to pick your bread. Flyboy’s has the following options: white, wheat, sourdough, multigrain, marble rye, Jewish rye, sundried tomato, sunflower seed, pretzel bun, croissant, salted rye and gluten free, or choice of Bagel.
For drinks, there are several wine selections, and keeping with the theme of Dayton pride, some of the best local beers.
Decisions, decisions, decisions!
I ordered #3, “The Liberty Reuben,” which is named after the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Engine developed here in Dayton. This sandwich consists of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing served on marbled rye. I also requested the sauerkraut on the side, as I was getting this to go and didn’t want the sandwich to get soggy. I also ordered the #13, “The DH-4” Italian Sub, which includes salami, ham, capicola, prosciutto, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, balsamic vinaigrette and oregano on an 8-inch sub bun. I have to give kudos to the “Flyboy” that took my order. I was tempted to order the Italian sub on a pretzel bun, as I have this love for all pretzel bread, but he wisely guided me to stick with the sub roll, and he was absolutely correct. He also suggested that I eat both sandwiches hot.
I would be lying if I said I waited to sample the reuben until I got home. The amazing aroma filled my car, so I just couldn’t wait to see and taste what I had ordered. I tried the reuben first, and was not disappointed. The corned beef was very tender and full of flavor and the Russian dressing provided the perfect hint of sweetness to counter the salty flavor of the corned beef. The salted rye added a big punch of salty flavor that may not be as desirable to some as it is to me, so if you’re not a fan, stick with the marble rye offering on the menu.
I did wait to try the Italian once I arrived home. Again, Flyboy’s had a perfect landing! The Italian was delicious, and the star of this creation was the balsamic vinaigrette. It really pulled the flavor from the meats, and kept the heat and peppery flavor that sometimes accompanies capicola and salami and the saltiness of the ham. The sub had been pressed like a panini so all the flavors merged together, making me wish I could finish this sandwich now, while it was fresh and still warm.
Many people visit Oakwood for Dorothy Lane Market and Arrow Wine. Now there’s another reason to venture there: Flyboy’s! Rest assured, it is well worth the trip. It provides a great alternative to the typical sub shop that lines every strip mall in the area. At first glance, the prices appear a bit high. But once you see the large serving size and the quality of the ingredients, you will realize that it is actually a wonderful value. While Flyboy’s honors some of Dayton’s best, it just may have become one of Dayton’s best!