There’s nothing better than a great sandwich. I suppose you may think that’s debatable but let’s face it: life is too short to eat shitty sandwiches.
Yesterday was a red-letter day for me in that the wife and I discovered the joys of the deli counter at the Jacobs and Toney Deli and Meat Store of the North in Warrensburg, New York. No, I’m not being clever or facetious – that’s actually it’s name. In fact, you can see it quite clearly from the road in big white block letters five feet high: MEAT STORE OF THE NORTH.
I don’t know about you, but when we saw a sign like that we absolutely knew we had to stop in and find out just what the hell is going on here. It turns out that the Meat Store – essentially a deli and butcher shop – has been around for nearly a century, bringing its brand of insanely priced food to the locals and building a reputation for massive, coronary-inducing deli sandwiches served on bread baked daily and from scratch. My wife decided to have a simple turkey sandwich, but I knew the best way to test the Meat Store’s: I ordered an Italian sub, the mainstay of deli counters everywhere.
Some clarification here: it wasn’t actually a “sub.” There’s a good reason for this, though – the Meat Store’s submarine sandwiches are roughly the size of an actual Nautilus-class nuclear sub complete with periscope and conning tower. I mean it was god damned huge; I was sweating just looking at the size of it and I knew there was no way I could get the whole thing inside me – it made me appreciate the pornography industry that much more. Instead, I opted for the much more modest (and less jaw-stretching) Kaiser roll. Little did I know that it just looked small next to the 14-inch monstrosity that the Meat Store calls its sub; their Kaiser rolls are about the size of a human head.
So here we are, starting off with a giant Kaiser roll baked fresh that morning. Add to it the normal ingredients you’ll find on an Italian sub – salami, pepperoni, ham, and provolone – and then top it off with veggies. Each deli tends to have their own combinations when it comes to this. You’re almost guaranteed to get lettuce and tomato on your Italian hero no matter where you go, but you could also end up with olives, peppers, onions, or even pickles in some instances (what sick bastard thought that up I have no idea). My sandwich had black olives and jalapeno peppers in addition to the lettuce and tomato, and I nearly choked myself I was stuffing my face so quickly with it.
There’s one last component to a good Italian sub, though. It can make or break a sandwich if it’s not pulled off properly: the dressing. While you may be tempted to slather an Italian sub with mayonnaise and mustard – most likely because you’re a filthy Philistine – you should instead have an oil and vinegar-based dressing to bring out the flavors of all the other ingredients. The Meat Store didn’t disappoint on this front. It wasn’t just some Nature’s Valley vinaigrette doled out from a squeeze bottle, either – we’re talking a homemade dressing made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and what I can only imagine as garlic, rosemary, and pure crack cocaine. Honestly I don’t know how I didn’t end up swallowing my wedding ring while I was eating that sandwich. I’m pretty sure I might have eaten the napkin too, just to get the last traces of flavor into my system. Afterwards I just wanted to roll around on the grass like a dog.
The best part about this whole sandwich was the price, though: $2.99. I’m never stepping foot inside another Subway again as long as I live.