Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC

Filet Mignon
2013/04/21 12:04:40
If the Philly Cheesesteak and Roast Pork Sandwich are associated with Philadelphia, the Italian Beef is associated with Chicago, what sandwich is best associated with New York City. Last year I went to Defonte's and had a Roast beef on a Italian crusty roll with fried eggplant and fresh Mozzarella cheese. I thought may be this was a good representation of a NYC sandwich, any other ideas, I'll be to all three of these places in a few weeks????????????thx....Bill
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/21 13:31:38
No visit to NYC is complete without having a hand carved pastrami sandwich at  Katz's:
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/22 09:54:21
acer, I think your right, not only the Pastrami but the NYC Deli experience. I would love to sit at a table in a NYC deli with hand carved Pastrami on Rye, chopped liver and onions, and herring with sour cream and onions.....That would bring back some memories of days gone by. I'm not sure anyone would stand next to me after eating that meal.........pnwc
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/22 10:24:03

No visit to NYC is complete without having a hand carved pastrami sandwich at  Katz's:

Maybe 40 or 50 years ago it would have been.
Certainly not now.
As a local native New Yorker, born and bred, I know FOR A FACT  most locals under the age of 30 don't even know what a NYC Deli is.
Those who are older haven't been to one since they they were little. 
You'll find tourists at the small handful of iconic NYC deli's that are left. 
Yes, you'll find a great sandwich at these delis and since I now consider myself a tourist I always have to have one when I visit, however if you're looking for a "contemporary" NYC experience you will NOT find it there.

I would say nowadays the iconic NYC sandwich would be a Papusa or a Banh Mi, or if you want to go out on a limb, I would even say a burger since the burger culture is very prevelant there.
post edited by wanderingjew - 2013/04/22 10:26:06
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/22 11:38:33
WJ, if this is true, then Europe was replaced by Asia and the Pacific Rim, maybe even South America. Going back in the day when Ellis Island was in full swing, it was all of Europe that came through the gates. I guess the reason why all the Jewish Deli's are no longer in business is, people found other places to live and the suburbs became an attractive place to live. I guess it's time people put their Babushka away and look for the new up coming foods from the new immigrants flooding our shores. I guess the first hint should have been the Southwest with the amount of Mexican foods to be had. The other being South Florida with Cuban food, majority rules. The memory of the old foods are cemented in my brain, it may be hard to crack the mold........................pnwc
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/22 14:37:27
wanderingjew I know FOR A FACT  most locals under the age of 30 don't even know what a NYC Deli is.

I'm curious - let's see your data.
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/22 15:16:25
I'm not going to get into a pissing match with you
I can assure you there are far more Bostonians who eat the "food of the people" (Cod Cakes, Baked Beans and Brown Bread) than New Yorkers who eat Jewish Deli (at least there are more establishments in the Boston area that serve it) I'll tell you what- you can ask all my NYC facebook friends and they can ask their friends, and so on and so on and so on, and I think you'll get your data.
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/22 15:19:09
What pissing match? You said, in boldface, "for a fact." I thought you meant it. I guess what you really mean is, based on your experience, it's your impression.
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/22 15:25:59
You obviously need to have the last word- I'll let you have it.
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/22 17:28:59
Hey pnwchef, allow me to throw in my 2 cents.  Despite having lived in NYC for the past 10 years, I really don't know how iconic Jewish deli food and in particular, sandwiches, are to the other residents of my adopted city.  A handful of them have certainly gotten much press in the past few years due to the explosion of food-centric TV shows and people posting their food pictures on social media sites.  Representative or not, I would highly recommend stopping at any one of these places:
1.)  Katz's Deli - a corned beef sandwich, pastrami reuben or brisket on a club roll (with a side of brown gravy, at The Travelin' Man's wise request) are just amazing.  

I was there recently with The Travelin' Man and below are some pics from that excursion (still need to get that Trip Report online!). 

2.)  Taim Falafel & Smoothie Bar - NYC has tons of places to get falafel and Taim has definitely raised the bar for me.  Many thanks to ayersian for that one!!  Very small and the seats are only high-boy chairs but the freshness of the ingredients and how well they all come together make it totally worth it.  They have two locations but the one at 45 Spring Street is a bit bigger and it's just a few doors down from Lombardi's Pizzeria and Rice To Riches!

3.)  Hot Roast Beef sandwiches (Brooklyn) - This seems to have started as a Brooklyn thing:  hot roast beef, mutz & gravy but it has made its way into Manhattan i.e. DeFonte's.  There is another place called This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef that I love!  They're on 1st Ave between 9th and 10th Streets.  

Below is the "That Way Sandwich" with hot roast beef, gravy and fresh mozzarella

4.)  El Castillo del Juego - a Cuban Lower East Side place that has excellent Cuban and Media Noche sandwiches.  You may be the only non-Cubans in the place!  On Rivington Street, they are located across the street from Economy Candy which is a fun place to check out!!  Below, my Cuban sandwich.

Just steps from the Essex Market and a great bakery called Sugar Sweet Sunshine.  And not too far away are the Doughnut Plant, The Pickle Guys and...
5.)  Vanessa's Dumplings - for sesame pancake sandwiches!    I love their dumplings and their sesame pancakes but they also use the pancakes as the basis for some great sandwiches. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the sandwiches.  They put cilantro on them, which you can ask them to omit which doesn't always work (and I'm a HUGE hater of cilantro).  They're ok but I crave their dumplings!!
Link:  http://newyork.seriouseat...eshow.html#show-140505
6.)  Dinosaur Bar-B-Que - while certainly not an iconic NYC type of food, Dinosaur makes a couple of sandwiches that I would certainly go out of my way to eat again!  
The Ultimate B.L.F.G.T. (bacon, lettuce and fried green tomato) Sandwich.  A pic...

And the write-up:
As much as I love THAT one, the Pork-Sket is my "go-to" sandwich there (when I actually want something with bread!  Usually I save my stomach real estate for more smoked meat.)  Sorry, this was the best shot I had.  It's a double layer sandwich:  brisket covered in bbq sauce, melted cheddar and jalapeƱos topped with pulled pork and coleslaw.  Messy but dang good!!

If you need any more advice just give me a holler!
Happy Eating, 
post edited by billyboy - 2013/04/22 17:36:06
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/22 20:31:27
BillyBoy, thx for taking the time, I guess you put it best of all. If you want it, New York City has it..........The Sandwiches look great......thx again........Bill
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/23 07:29:44
Where's the breakfast bacon, egg & cheese on the NYC hard roll?
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/23 09:06:59
Billyboy, the sandwich at " This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef " looks like a 20 napkin sandwich. This will be on my list for June, I was going to go back to Defonte's, but, I would like to try other places on my return trip.  I was also going to make sure I get to Luke's Lobster on this trip, but, I see they have one in Washington DC, so I think I'll wait for that one..........Billy ????????????? have you tried Porchetta on (7th b/t 1st & Ave A) in East village............
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/24 12:33:49
Why cavandre, it's right here:

The photo above is a ham, egg and cheese on a roll from a street cart near my apartment by the South Street Seaport.  There are many carts all over town but this is one of my favorites.  I don't even think it has a name but it's located on Water Street near Wall Street.  pnwchef, if you're staying in Midtown again there are two places I can recommend for a tasty breakfast sandwich.  Cafe Duke on 51st Street between 6th & 7th Aves.  I usually stick to the egg and cheese (I'm a Swiss man, myself) as the breakfast meats aren't really anything special.  Having the roll buttered and toasted really does elevate it to another level.  They also make some excellent chunky home fries with onion, red, yellow and orange bell peppers.  NOTE:  these are only creamy home fries without any crusty outsides as is the case with every single cafe/deli I have been to in NYC.  I prefer the contrast whenever I can find it but these are terrific in their own right.    Located on the corner of 52nd St. & Park Ave. (NE corner), the Eggs Travaganza cart puts out great chorizo (homemade), egg and cheese sandwich.  Not sure of their hours but you can call them at 917-657-0987.  
pnwchef, that sandwich is quite a "hot mess" but so, so good!  I have been to Porchetta but I don't have a respectable picture of the sandwich (yes, it is quite good!) to post so you'll just have to settle for these:


Real comfort food!

If you do end up at Porchetta there are a lot of other great places on that block:  Luke's Lobster on the opposite side of the street, Butter Lane Cupcakes, Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, People's Pops, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Shop and Caracas Arepas Bar (Venezuelan sandwiches).  This is a somewhat blurry shot of my De Pabellon arepa (shredded beef, black beans, white salty cheese and sweet plantains nestled in a baked/grilled corn cake).  So much better than the overly sweet ones sold at so many street fairs!

Of course, you could go over to Peanut Butter & Co. on Sullivan Street for an Elvis (PB, bananas & honey on buttered, griddled bread).  I opted to have this one with bacon as well!  

Another place I forgot to mention is Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop on 5th Ave. between 22nd & 23rd Streets.  

Tiny place that has been around for ages and I fell for their tuna-egg salad sandwich on rye a number of months ago.

If you're thinking of staying close to Midtown you can find a pretty respectable pastrami or corned beef reuben at Junior's in Grand Central Station.  I do like that they give the Russian dressing on the side so I can apply it as desired.  And that bread is so buttery and crispy plus after you eat a stroll through the station provides some great people watching and you can check out the Whispering Corridor.


post edited by billyboy - 2013/04/24 12:35:26
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/24 15:46:49
BillyBoy, you would be bored stiff in any other city, New York City is your kind a town. I'm not sure if Porchetta will be on for this trip, but you never know. I know I have to get Mollie over to Pommes Frites that is also on second ave. I'm thinking of going back to Ed's Lobster, My wife and Mollie both liked it there. I think that will be the after Theater dinner, it has everything we like. This little Piggy will be in the mix on one of the days. We will be going back to Peter Lugers right off the plane, into the cab, straight to steak. ...................Thx Billy.................Bill
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/25 17:53:00
pnwchef, nah!!!  I love NYC but I'm not from here so I do enjoy going places where the pace is much slower and quieter.  My girlfriend and many of my friends who are born and bred NYCers can't imagine life anywhere else which does make me somewhat sad as there are so many wonderful places to see and live that I feel there are missing out and don't realize it.  
Pommes Frites is fantastic.  I went there on my last tour with my friend Brooke and we tried there two new mayos:  Black Truffle and one with Bordeaux wine, figs and sage.  Both were incredible.  Let them know it's your first time there and they usually will offer you a few samples of frites and sauces to try before committing to the one(s) you end up buying.  Have fun at Luger's!!!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/04/27 09:44:13
If you go nyc now you have to get street meat, aka halal food.  It's the cheapest and some of the best food in NYC.  Get the lamb over rice or a gyro.  Check out the Halal guys, warning the hot sauce is REALLY hot.
Junior Burger
Flagged as Spam (1)
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/05/09 12:25:49
Visit famous Kosher Steakhouse in NYC with large sidewalk and enjoy live music.
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/05/12 23:19:42
I fear the latest NYC sandwich is a cupcake : (
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/05/13 15:31:03
Definitely Katz' for a Pastrami (or Corned Beef) sandwich.
Then go up the block to Yonah Schimmel for a knish.  "It's the best in the city."
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/05/13 16:52:02
fattybomatty, I work around the corner from the Halal Guys @ 53rd & 6th.  I used to like them but after having tried a few other places, not so much anymore.  They definitely have a good set-up and there is a strong appeal with cab drivers, club kids, Con Ed worker and others of the graveyard shift bent.  I think they're open from 7pm to 4am.  I with you 100% on that hot sauce.  I poured it on my food one time and had to toss it after two bites.  Just too hot for me!  I always tell people who have never tried it to request the hot sauce on the side only and then dip some pita in it to see if they like it before dumping it on their food.  
NYNM, I hope not.  I think they are still popular here but most places have settled in and there isn't the "craze" that there was a few years ago.  I still enjoy a good cupcake now and again and I have about 4-5 dependable places I know I can get one that is money and calories well spent.  I do cringe every time I see someone walking around with a CRUMBS Bakery bag.  I have tried therm multipole times and couldn't stand them.  Given that there are many other excellent choices in NYC it makes me sad that it seems to be a default choice for many people.
Junior Burger
Re:Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC 2013/05/15 07:25:17
Billy Boy....I don't know you...and probably never will....but I now officially hate you...

The cruelty in posting Katz's and Juniors photos is beyond my ability to relate....just had something that was supposedly a "pastrami sandwich" here in Colorado Springs at what is laughingly called a "deli"....essentially Arby's grade meat, served with.....ummmmm....a side of au jus.....yes AU JUS! gets great reviews too....

We still have some....remote....unlikely hope that Denver may yet yield at least some semblance of a decent NY style deli....but not holding breath...