Diamond Deli, RubberDucks honor Odell Beckham Jr. with culinary creativity

Downtown Akron’s Diamond Deli has added to its all-star roster of tribute sandwiches, debuting the OooohDell (or OBJ), named for Odell Beckham Jr.

The grilled cheese sandwich featuring onion, bacon and jam hit the menu Thursday, less than 48 hours after the Cleveland Browns’ stunning trade Tuesday night to acquire the superstar wide receiver.

Not long after the trade, “All of us were thinking of different names, different ingredients ... It was a team effort,” said Brett Magilavy, 34, co-owner with his brother Chad, 26, and father, Chuck, of the South Main Street restaurant that has been a downtown fixture since the early 1980s.

Also Thursday, the Akron RubberDucks, known for coming up with offbeat concession items, revealed in a news release that the menu this season would include the new OBJ Dog, an all-beef jumbo hot dog dipped in Louisiana Hot Sauce and topped with an onion-bacon-jalapeño (OBJ) relish.

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The dog will sell for $7 at the Dog Pound concession stand on the third-base side of the minor-league ballpark. It will be available beginning with the season opener April 4 at Canal Park on South Main Street, about a block north of the Diamond Deli. The game against the Altoona Curve begins at 6:35 p.m.

Last season, the RubberDucks honored Browns star Joe Thomas with a sandwich titled “Thanks, Joe.” Thomas retired in March 2018. The team’s other edible tributes include the “Return of the King Burger,” in honor of LeBron James returning to Northeast Ohio in 2014.

At the Diamond Deli on Thursday, Brett Magilavy nodded to his younger brother Chad and said, “Onion, bacon and [strawberry] jam. We figured that would work since it’s OBJ. Credit that to Chad.”

The sandwich features cheddar and pepper jack cheese on grilled Italian bread, dusted with Parmesan cheese.

Like seemingly everyone in Northeast Ohio, the crew behind the deli counter was pumped to learn of the NFL trade.

Deli worker Eric Brewer noted the sandwich is sweet, but also salty, and that New York Giants fans are salty about the trade. The Giants received safety Jabrill Peppers and first- and third-round picks in April’s draft for Beckham.

I was one of just a few people who had bought the sandwich by about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. It sells for $6 (pickle included) and I can attest to its yummy, sweet-salty taste.

University of Akron student Logan Amaro, 22, went to the deli for lunch Thursday and regretted not seeing the hand-printed notice for the Ooooh Dell. “I should have ordered that ... It’s good marketing,” said Amaro, who is studying supply chain management and business operations.

Time — and taste buds — will tell whether the OBJ is a hit and joins the Diamond Deli’s extensive sandwich menu, which includes “LeBron’s ‘The Life I Know Is in the 330,’ ” smoked turkey in a sun-dried tomato wrap with Gouda cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle ranch dressing.

Other oddball sandwiches include “Josh’s ‘I Made the Dean’s List’ ” and “Where’s Jason?” — each named for a family member and each with a story behind it.

The deli is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The phone number is 330-762-5877.

Source: Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com

Victoria Dioh