SAN ANTONIO - Gino's Deli is an anomaly in the world of the best places to eat.
It's part Brooklyn-style deli, part convenience store. The chips, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and beef jerky don't stand a chance against the deli.
"When I bought the business it was more of a gas station/convenience store," Aleem Chaudhry said.
He recalls the deli was such a small portion of the business when he bought it in 2006. That changed as other businesses started to pop near his 13210 Huebner Rd location.
"I had to evolve," Chaudhry said. "The deli evolved and evolved and it became a major part of my business now."
Chaudhry decided to keep the name Gino from the previous owner because he figured no one would remember "Aleem's."
"I kept the name because it sounds like a fat Italian chef," He joked. "And I'm plenty fat myself but I'm plenty fat myself."
According to Chaudhry, he learned the deli business from living and working in Brooklyn. He brought those skills to San Antonio. His small unpretentious deli started to take off in 2011.
He said the past two years have been the absolute best since he opened his doors.
Yelp named Gino's Deli one of the top 100 places to eat in America. His local designation with Yelp is just as solid.
"There's not another place in San Antonio like this," He said.
Gino's Deli is known for it Brooklyn style Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. They also boast a menu of burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
Neighborhood Eats was provided with a two sub sampler starting with the second most popular seller on the menu: The Smokestack.
It's grilled hickory smoked turkey, bacon, Italian provolone cheese and dressed fully on freshly baked bread covered with a smoked chipotle aioli. ¡Qué rico!
Next the famed Gino's Philly Cheesesteak. Remember this sandwich is a lot more NYC than Philly. It comes with chopped ribeye steak, onions, peppers, and smoked provolone. Delicious!