Driving through the Design District totally lost (except for the fact that I knew I was in the Design District because of the signs on every tree, lamppost and fire hydrant that label the area as such; you'd think that of all places, the Design District would know that less is more), I saw a guy and a girl smiling really big and waving their hands crazily in the middle of the road. They had that hysterical, freaking-out waving thing going on that only high-school car-wash girls and people in actual emergencies do. As I drove closer it became clear that there were neither car wash boobies (sad face) nor bleedings (sad face). These two were begging for business. The guy was holding a giant sign that read, "Gandolfo's gourmet New York deli food truck: How good is it? FORGEDDABOUTIT!" Blinker. Pulled over. You had me at "tit," Gandolfo's.
Their recently expanded menu now offers 30 different New York deli-style sandwiches. I asked the nice lady in the truck window which sandwich was her favorite: "Pastrami on rye, hands down." Deal. "Russian or spicy mustard?" Uh. "You want Russian all the way." Just like I always say at ice-skater contests.
The heated sandwich arrived with Russian dressing-soaked marble rye, gooey Swiss cheese and approximately 12 million pounds of pastrami. All right, so maybe my eyeballs aren't that great at weighing things. But it was a lot. It was what you expect from a NY deli sandwich. And it's what I truly fear about them.
The equivalent amount of meat in a burger patty doesn't frighten me at all. Even throw a pound of brisket in front of me and that doesn't phase me. But there's something about the sight of that much thinly sliced, sloppily stacked pastrami on a sandwich that gives me the heart hurts.
The first bite was messy, squirty, NY deli-sandwich perfection. The pastrami itself was pretty standard. I'd put it on par with Cindi's. But the whole sandwich, with the toasted rye, dripping dressing — it was great. If you like that sort of thing.
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Gandolfo's, I completely respect and enjoy you, but at the same time I fucking fear you. For me, you are the Joan Rivers of sandwich shops.