The $5 Lunch

A real-deal bologna sandwich at Fritz’s Smoked Meats

Updated: 2014-03-19T19:27:34Z

By CINDY HOEDEL

The Kansas City Star

Fritz’s Smoked Meats at 103rd Street and State Line is one of those places that’s been around so long that it’s easy to forget. If you haven’t been to the large wholesale-feel deli in a while, your stomach will thank you for putting it back in the lunch rotation.

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 Fritz’s 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 Fritz’s, 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 Fritz’s 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 Fritz’s 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.

Fritz’s Smoked Meats

10326 State Line Road, Leawood

913-381-4618

FritzsKCMeats.com; also on Facebook and Twitter

Hours: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday

Don’t-miss deal: Bologna-salami half sandwich, $4.99

Vegetarian options: Various cheese sandwiches made to order

Parking: Free in lot

Credit cards: Yes

To reach Cindy Hoedel, call 816-234-4304 or send email to choedel@kcstar.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and The Star’s Chow Town blog.

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