Hometown Eats: RT Smith’s Deli

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 4:44 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - “Never trust a skinny cook. I ain’t skinny, but that don’t mean I can finish this stuff,” joked Keith Clinton, owner of RT Smith’s Deli in downtown Roanoke, about his ability to eat his own sandwich creations. “When you step over that doorway you are not in Roanoke, you’re not even in the south. People are transported back to New York.”

RT Smith’s opened in 2011. Clinton and family took over seven years ago and have been serving up monster dishes with all the flare of New York City all the way down to an old subway turnstile.

“We don’t play around. We keep it classic with recipes that go back 60 or 70 years,” said Clinton.

Not only will you not finish one of these sandwiches in a single sitting, you might find something you haven’t had since your childhood, like a Taylor pork roll sandwich.

“We’ve had people in tears because they haven’t had a pork roll sandwich in 20 or 30 years,” explained Clinton. He said the Taylor pork roll is very popular with people from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

RT Smith’s has a large variety of sandwiches, all large. There’s nothing small on the menu, especially the nearly two-pound Dogwood.

This is only scratching the surface of what RT Smith’s offers. Keith says if it’s served on a sandwich it can be sold by the pound, like the prosciutto. And once a year Keith makes a South Bronx chili that doesn’t stay on the menu very long.

They also offer a crumb cake from an old school German recipe that his daughter, Abbigall, knows like the back of her hand.

Then the cherry on top, no trip is complete without making your mark on the wall with a piece of chalk.

RT Smith’s Deli, a big apple bite hometown eat.

Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.