Sandwich Sunday: Pastrami “Italiano” on Rye

I’ll be honest with you: typically I avoid “mom and pop” sub shops and deli’s like the plague. It’s not that I don’t support the independent small business or shun the concept of roadfood, but rather that I find the prices of such destinations too be a little too much for my liking, and not worthy of the ho-hum ingredients you usually get. Subway may not have the best sandwiches out there, but I’ll take a $5 footlong any day.

Please define "town"

That being the case, every once and a while I get a hankering to check a new place out. I used to work near this small sandwich shop in the back of an old strip mall. Labeled simply as “Italian Delly” it always struck me as out of place. There never seemed to be any cars there, and even to this day, whenever  I drive past it, the place seems dead. On a recent trip to Dunkin Donuts I said as much to my sister, who replied “hey, they’re actually pretty good.”

About 30 grams of sugar right there...Carol does love her Heinz

While she’s hardly the culinary giant (need I bring up the ketchup packet incident) I trust her judgement on such things, and made an impulsive stop at this seemingly anonymous “Delly” earlier this week. Long story short, I’m glad I did.

Words Fail Me...

C&B Deli’s motto is “good for your belly” and my belly is thanking me after purchasing a Pastrami Sandwich on Rye for $6.25. This was what I like to call your typical “two-a-day” sandwich: the kind of meaty, thick-portioned meal-in-and-of-itself monster that can get a high school football player through a grueling summer’s practice. With thick-cut seeded rye bread and a generous portion of lean, juicy pastrami it was definitely a winner. Even though the Pastrami was lean and tender it still retained it’s moisture well, and had a nice smokey fat cap that melted in my mouth “like buttah.” It wasn’t overwhelmed by black pepper, but had a nice subtle sweetness from the seasoning blend that balanced the earthy heat. The veggies were all incredibly fresh while the deli-style mustard was spread judiciously. A firm undercarriage of sweet peppers, pickles and oil only contributed to the moistness of the sandwich, adding a nice touch of spicy-sweetness that married all the flavors together nicely. The bread was not the least bit soggy and held up extremely well considering the amount of moisture on the interior. Subway may have trademarked “sandwich artist,” but the woman who made my sandwich pulled off a Picasso on this puppy.

Good Pastrami in an Italian Delly? You Betcha

I’m usually not the kind of person who’ll bust out more than six bucks for a non-specialty sandwich, but good quality pastrami is tough to find if you don’t have a classic deli nearby. And while C&B’s offers a wide variety of Italian specialty meats and cheeses, the pastrami is a real winner here. Maybe not enough to get me to bug out of my value-menu eating ways, but definitely a solid option for an occasional splurge or treat.

Check them Out: C&B Deli
Cb Deli on Urbanspoon

Your Turn: Mom and Pop Sandwich Shops? Worth it?

10 comments on “Sandwich Sunday: Pastrami “Italiano” on Rye

  1. skippymom says:

    I vote a resounding YES! The best dang sandwiches I have ever had were in Linden, VA at a lil’ hole in the wall gas station and deli [name escapes me] but they had to sell gas otherwise the people living on the mountain might run out – I swear it is the only place for miles.

    Anyway – the star of the show is the deli run by the Mom and Pop owners. Their club sandwich is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. – Made with real smoked turkey breast, smoke bacon and VA ham. om-drooling-god! She makes all the sandwiches with meat she has smoked, cured or “corned” herself…I wanted to set up house in the parking lot the first time I had one of her sandwiches. Even the egg salad tastes like home.

    The club was 5.25 and I think the egg salad was 3.25. Side of fries 2.00 – worth every penny. :)

  2. Aimee says:

    I’d take a mom & pop deli sandwich over a Subway any day. Of course, I have available to me Cousins & Jimmy Johns for a fast food sandwich. Both are pretty good, but it’s nice to have a mom & pop who have great ingredients. The only thing I don’t like about my local Mom & Pop is they are pretty s l o w w w w, and close to my work, which sucks because of traffic. By the time I’ve made it back to the office, I don’t have time to enjoy my sandwich. Otherwise if I had the time I’d go there more often.

  3. Jessica Leigh says:

    I much prefer the mom & pop places over Subway or Quiznos any day! We don’t have any here in the town I live in, but I wish we did! There is an Italian place that does really good subs though. That sandwich looks amazing!

  4. chuck in chicago says:

    Adam, I’d answer your question with a definite “It depends.” If I want something dependable and FAST, then I’d go to Jimmy John’s or Subway. If I’m in no hurry and am feeling adventurous, then I’d try a Mom-and-Pop which I’ve never tried before. Unfortunately, even here in Chicago, the traditional deli or sandwich shop is going the way of the dodo.

    And, Adam, if I may say so, you’ve redeemed yourself from your Floink of last week: you didn’t order mayo on a pastrami sandwich, which is always the telltale mark of the neophyte!

  5. Raiders757 says:

    I would never pass a mom & pop deli or sub shop up for a sandwich chain of any kind. Even the ones with “ho-hum” ingredients, kick the crap out of Subway and the likes of. Obviously there is a price difference. The really good deli shops do charge quite a bit for a large sub, but it’s always worth it. You get much better quality, and more than double the meat. Heck, I have a mom & pop sub shop near me that uses “ho-hum” ingredients, but their large subs only clock in at around six bucks. Their veggies are much fresher than Subway, and my favorite sub, which packs in three meats, three cheeses, only costs a $1 more. It’s filling, that I normally only eat half of it, and the save the other half for later. When I eat a $5 sub from Subway, it’s kind like eating Chinese take out. After a half an hour, I’m hungry again.

    Nice review though. That sandwich looks fantastic.

  6. While I would generally agree with your “value premise” about Mom and Pop’s, I do make a point of stopping at them, looking for those hidden gems. You Do have to kiss a lot of frogs, blah blah blah, but especially when I am on long road trips, thru small towns, and just can’t stomach one more chain meal, the mom and pops offer a nice respite.

  7. J.B. says:

    Subway used to be great.
    Now their latest creations have been nothing but fail.
    I don’t know who is running things there but they should be fired.

    Quiznos on the other hand is getting better.
    They are sending out more coupons and the sandwiches are getting much better now.
    With more and more competition popping up competing for people’s value food dollars these days, now is not the time for Subway to start slipping.

    • Raiders757 says:

      I will have to add that Quiznos $5 footlong subs are leaps and bounds better than Subway. Sadly for them, there are three Subways and five or six mom & pop shops between my house and the nearest one.

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