There is nothing greater than the sandwich.
It pretty much encapsulates how I got into food, and to this day is still the thing that gives me the most pleasure.
I am not sure how it happened but bread was my first food love. The natural progression was then to fill the bread and from the humble yet disgusting combinations of tuna, hard-boiled egg and ketchup to slightly less revolting concoctions, my love affair with the sandwich began. I will often spend far too much time and money going from store to store picking up ingredients just for the joy of putting it together myself. However sometimes you need to concede that the professionals have an edge and allow them to do the work for you. Hence how I came to be at the Court Street Grocers.
Somewhat implausibly for a store that only opened in late 2010 they won the 2011 Best General Store in NY Magazine, but over the last 12 months they have really grown into it. The store sells a selection of hard to find foodstuffs, some of which harp back strongly to the owners youth, others just delicious but not readily available. They also sell cheeses, salamis, dairy, seasonal fruit and some sweet treats, most notably delicious ‘rugelah’ crafted by the owners father, which are not really rugelah at all, but more strudel bites.
I digress, Turkey Club on Pullman.
It is at the back of the store where the magic really happens in a small open kitchen where all the sandwich ingredients are prepared in-house. Just reduced in price to a more palatable $12 this sandwich is of the kind that makes you fall in love. The ‘club’ supposedly invented in Upstate NY is often to be found on hotel lobby menus but rarely ever done right.
Court Street nails it on the head. On top, moist white turkey meat (and no this is not an oxymoron) with lettuce and bacon, then toasted bread with mayo all stacked on top of the more flavourful brown meat that has been confited and reheated on a grill to give it some crunch. Much like any great restaurant dish this sandwich has a perfect balance of textures, flavour and aesthetics.
While $12 plus tax and service should you wish is not cheap, it is large enough to be a very satisfactory meal, even better when rounded off with their signature rugelah.
NYC is a sandwich town so there are many good options in my neighbourhood alone, Van Horn does an excellent Southern fried chicken with pickled red cabbage. Ted and Honey have a fantastic pulled pork with coleslaw, and Frankie’s sandwiches are all great but try my latest favourite the roast beef with pepperoncini’s.