We've all been there. Sometimes you just want a roast beef sandwich, and nothing else will do. Call it what you will: a French Dip, a Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich, a Beef on Weck. Whatever it's name, it's irreplaceable, and New York has some great ones.
Combining Keith McNally's flawless art direction with co-chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson's equally accomplished cooking, this elevated take on old New York outdoes both its models and its rivals.
A Sheepshead Bay classic, this sandwich joint serves a no-frills roast beef sandwich on a white bun, with some beef broth dripped over. It's like a french dip, but round.
It's a simple Italian deli, and probably not worth travelling the vast distances necessary to get there, but if you do, you'll be rewarded with one hell of a sandwich. I mean one hell of a sandwich.
A Red Hook legend (it inspired the 30 Rock sandwich-day episode), Defonte's opened a Manhattan branch and yes, it's just as good. Plan on getting five or six diffferent sandwiches; you'll never be able to appreciate it otherwise.
The name is almost perversely misleading: This Little Piggy sells roast beef sandwiches, nor pork. And they are very good, especially for the money. Get lots of broth.
It's best known for its pastrami, but the really interesting thing for me are the original takes on Jewish food -- from a smoked chicken with rye gnocchi to a veal-laded kasha varnishkes.
Hands down, this is the greatest gourmet market New York has ever seen. Its restaurants aside, the meat counter, the cheese and salumi sections, and the vast pasta selection put the place in a class all its own.
Whether Fiore's deli has the best fresh mozzarella in the world, or just the second-best mozzarellla in the world, is a question for Hobokenites to decide. I am happy just to go there.