Fritzs Smoked Meats at 103rd Street and State Line is one of those places thats been around so long that its easy to forget. If you havent been to the large wholesale-feel deli in a while, your stomach will thank you for putting it back in the lunch rotation.
By CINDY HOEDEL
The Kansas City Star
Depending on the day of the week, you can always get a couple of different sandwiches for a fiver. But my favorite is the humble sounding bologna-salami half sandwich ($4.99). I was worried about the portion size on my first visit, but it turns out a half sandwich at Fritzs is a whole lot of stacked meat and cheeses on a 6-inch soft roll.
The bologna is made in-house, like all the cold cuts at Fritzs, using a family recipe from the 1960s. It was so good that I pulled most of it out of my sandwich to eat by itself. It looks almost like a finely ground mortadella, with a dappled pink-and-white surface.
The salami is equally good, mild but flavorful. Sandwiches come with your choice of cheese provolone works nicely with the bologna and all kinds of condiments and fillings.
The founder of the business was Fritz Plapp, a master butcher from the Swabia region of southern Germany. Plapp opened the original Fritzs in 1927 at 39th Street and State Line, in the building that now houses Jazz: A Louisiana Kitchen.
The butcher shop/deli moved in 1969 to its present location, and mercifully little updating has been done since then, outside or in. The atmosphere is honest working-class, not vintage boutique-y. The tables and chairs are utilitarian at best.
Co-owner and manager Kurt Plapp is not overly talkative, but he says Fritzs cold cuts are made from pork shoulder, with no mechanically separated meat parts. One taste of his bologna is enough to have you swear off the cheaper supermarket varieties for good.
Fritzs Smoked Meats
10326 State Line Road, Leawood
Hours: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday
Dont-miss deal: Bologna-salami half sandwich, $4.99
Vegetarian options: Various cheese sandwiches made to order
Parking: Free in lot
Credit cards: Yes