Best Delicatessen - 2005
It's lunchtime on a Saturday, and Mom's is packed. A line of customers winds through the small shop, around the shelves of potato chips and Hostess cupcakes, past the refrigerated soda case (well-stocked) and the refrigerated beer case (empty, save a few bottles of Miller -- Mom's is honoring the Teamsters' strike). And here's the thing: No one minds the wait. A few extra minutes give people time to study the uniformly tempting menu (Do I want a Ron's Special, with hot salami, pepper cheese and mustard? Or a meatball sandwich with homemade tomato sauce?). Friends and neighbors chat. A young woman confers with her husband -- a four-foot sandwich for the party, or a five-foot? -- while a pair of older men talk baseball. When our turn at the counter comes, the sandwiches are made in front of us, with fresh-baked breads (French, rye, whole wheat or soft sesame seed) and top-grade meats. The deli case is full of potato salad, pasta salad, homemade mostaccioli. At the register, we get the best kind of sticker shock -- just $2.95 to $5.05 for these meal-and-a-half sandwiches. Thanks, Mom!