Many years ago, I used to go to an Italian deli on the Brooklyn/Queens border. It was the kind of place that crinkled your nose when you entered as the pungent odor of Parmigiano-Reggiano filled your nostrils, a giant wheel of it on the counter. Next to it were stromboli wrapped in clear plastic wrap and rice balls, baseball-sized battered and deep-fried balls of rice, filled with marinara sauce and cheese. Over the deli case hovered various smoked and dried meats, and within an assortment of delectably fresh meats and cheeses. Olive oil in giant tins, tomato sauces, and pastas filled the shelves.
The guy behind the counter once seemed offended by sandwich order and told me to just let him make me the sandwich that he wanted to make for me: “I’ll hook you up. If you don’t like it, I’ll give you a free sandwich next time.” That was probably the tenth time that I had ordered a sandwich from him, and I decided to trust him. He was a little grumpy sometimes, but he was a nice guy, so why not. It became my sandwich—the sandwich. I never ordered anything else from him after that. I would walk in and nod to him, and he would make my sandwich.
One day, I went to the deli to get my sandwich, and the doors were closed. I slumped as I walked back home. I had been tasting that sandwich all morning, and now I might never have it again.
Until last week, that is. My friends at Coppa Sandwiches have brought back my sandwich—the sandwich. And more. The list of ingredients:
Prosciutto Cotto + Coppa + Pepperoni + Mortadella
Lettuce + Tomato + Red onion
Cherry Pepper “mayo”
For just ten bucks in Lower Manhattan and much of Midtown (delivery area expanding all the time), you can get an amazingly delicious sandwich; a reasonably-sized bag of Cape Cod chips; crunchy, salty Brooklyn Brine New York deli pickles; and an Italian soda—all delivered right to your door (Mondays only, for now). I can’t recommend it enough. The sandwich is a perfect combination of cheese and spicy meat, complimented by the pickles, chips, and soda, all of which leave the hint of heat lingering in your mouth. You can order online or via text. This will be my second Monday with a lunch from Coppa Sandwiches, and I’m looking forward to many more!