Before watching Venus at the Byrd Theatre last night we ventured over to the New York Deli. The revamped eatery just a few doors west of the theatre had garnered somewhat iffy reviews in the past, but curiosity and the need to take on a new dining adventure spurred us on. An open space with exposed brick, long bar, and wood flooring greeted us. Because we arrived very early on a Friday, the bar scene had not ramped up, thus, limiting the smokiness of the non-smoking dining section. I would have had breathing trepidations if we had entered at a later hour. Happy hour (4-7 PM every night) was in full force with $2 rail drinks. The wine list contained few gems. I opted for a whiskey sour which seemed watered down on the sour side and very cheap on the whiskey side, but the glass was larger than normal and I purchased two for less than the price of one in most establishments. NYD also listed a variety of premium liquors.
The regular menu contained appetizers, salads, and sandwiches (generally in the $7-$10 range). We also received a smaller entrées for the night list (pricier and no real stand-outs). My husband decided on the Deli Club with fries (other sides were options, as well, including sticky rice). The Club was large and, thus, a little difficult to eat, but good-tasting. The toasted-just-right white bread was the crowning touch. I espied the Holly sub. Shades of college delis from long ago invaded my brain. I had to order it. Sliced turkey and rare roast beef with melted cheese (if you order your Holly hot), crunchy dill pickle slices, thin slivers of red onion, lettuce, and tomato (if you really want it – of course, I opted out) in between a sub roll. Mayo was served on the side. Holly was fresh and lip-smacking good. The pickles were extra crispy, the onions mild, and the lettuce in extremely good form (none of the limp days-old variety that many a college deli used to serve back in the day). Please notice that I raved about the veggies before the meat, but, never fear, I particularly liked the piled up rare roast beef. The only real drawback was the sub roll. A little too soft, and not really toasted, thus, it broke apart while eating.
Bottom line – go early, ply yourself with a cheap drink, and grab a Hot Holly.