Longtime New York deli-goers know all about Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda, the herbaceous, bitter, and peppery soft drink that, yes, is still in production, with a zaftig perfume that's equal parts beguiling and refreshing. So where did this weird soda come from, and how has it survived so many of the delis that stocked it?
'Deli' on Serious Eats
In the Jewish deli world, pastrami is king. Except for where it's not. Head north to Canada and you'll find a product called smoked meat. It looks like pastrami, is made similarly to pastrami, and tastes not unlike pastrami. But don't think they're the same thing.
In late 2012, a massive fire ravaged Murray Hill institution Sarge's Delicatessen. Over a year later, the restaurant is back open, with all the deli fare it has been serving for half a century.
At over a foot long, the sandwiches at Pisillo Italian Panini certainly delivers on size. The Cagliari, with sopressata and artichoke hearts, delivers flavor to match the heft.
The new Soluri & Sons Deli on Halsted Street in Bridgeport has picked up right where it left off. Once a popular stop in the '90s, it has returned with subs that are simple and satisfying.
Finding a good deli in Midtown is notoriously difficult. Could Park Italian Gourmet, with its Little Italy charm and no-frills decor, make sandwiches better than the ubiquitous steam table joint competition?
There's no shortage of good Italian sandwiches in Chicago—but please go get one immediately from Chop Shop.
Up the street at Publican Quality Meats, they're just waiting for the big party in the back to pay the bill and we can be seated right away. Bingo.
When you proclaim to be a play on a Jewish deli (the deli part of the name has since been removed), everyone expects great sandwiches. Which is exactly what I got with the Classic Reuben at Dillman's.
Sorriso Pork Store is an Italian deli in Astoria with a reputation for good sandwiches, great deli products, and some of the friendliest counter staff you'll find anywhere. It deserves that rep on all fronts.
This hearty salad from The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home was a creation by Nick Zukin as a Seinfeld-related inside joke—while the salad does contain lettuce and cucumbers, it's far from a low-calorie lunch. An ample scoop of chicken salad, a generous pour of creamy blue cheese dressing, and a plethora of crisp bagel chips make this truly a salad for salad haters.
By now, you have probably heard that the fourth Thursday in November is going to be a mighty special holiday. For the first time in 70,000-ish years (might as well be 1 million), Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day to create the über holiday, Thanksgivukkah. Over the next two weeks, we'll be bringing you Hanukkah and Thanksgiving favorites from some of fall's best cookbooks, starting with The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home. Feel free to mash-up as you see fit.
[Photographs: Titus Ruscitti] Chicago is a world class eating town. No doubt about it. But there are some things where the math just doesn't add up right. Take corned beef for example. I'm just not understanding of why we...
When I first heard about Al's Deli, I imagined some kind of kitschy version of a French deli, one with more polish than personality. In fact, it's just the opposite. Al's is the kind of idiosyncratic place that most neighborhood sandwich shops only wish they could be.
For a change-up from Mile End's smoked meat, consider this salami and mustard sandwich on a kaiser roll.
Don't go out of your way for this deli, but if you're nearby and in need of a quick, cheap bite, they have some sandwiches that will fill you up.
Il Salumaio is the newest Italian deli open in the Upper East Side. A small space managed by a more than friendly staff, the sandwich shop is a destination we would gladly visit again for a quick lunch fix. The sandwiches hew close to deli classics, but with some subtle twists.
The sandwich reaches the vertical heights of other overstuffing deli specialists around the city, but nowhere else does the pastrami melt in your mouth quite like it does on Broadway and 83rd.
It's a simple, no frills sandwich that combines the best thing about breakfast with one of the best things about New York lunch counters.
The Marquette Inn is an unassuming little diner right in the heart of the Loop. The interior is dark and dingy, but it has a lot of character and is, in my experience, always busy.