Monday, January 9, 2012

Snapshots: Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop

In New York's Flatiron District, a bustling mix of students, bankers, artists, and food lovers (Mario Batali's Eataly, Anita Lo's Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, Danny Meyer's Shake Shack, and Daniel Humm's Eleven Madison Park are located within a block of each other) congregate briefly during the busy lunchtime hours of 11:30 to 2pm. 

As each emerges from their dimly lit cubicles or stuffy classrooms, they notice a hankering for something hearty, satisfying, quick, and cheap. Now, at first glance, this would seem like the best neighborhood for lunchtime eats (my 3 alternative lunch spots are posted below), but remember, it's also when everyone else has been set loose too. And, when you're on a tight schedule, trapped at an overpriced salad/sandwich assembly line with hangry (read: hungry + angry) alpha females and wait-for-no-one bankers is not the place for you. Instead, I suggest ordering ahead from Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop

Disclaimer: Now, this place isn't for those calorie-counting salad eaters. Eat here only when you're craving diner-style comfort food – Matzo ball soup with noodles, omelets, huge deli sandwiches, and REAL lime Rickys (a mix of lime juice and grape soda). "Ahh! This hits the spot!" says my co-eater in life, Daniel. For me, it's a syrupy mess. However, in-between bites of greasy diner food, swigs of Lime Ricky really make you nostalgic for little towns, neighborhood gossip, and hugs from home.    

At Eisenberg's, don't miss the classic pastrami sandwich. 
It's no frills – grilled white bread, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut. But, each bite is a mixture of textures: a great crunch! from the warm toasty exterior melts into an oozy and juicy cheesy interior. The fatty, peppery pastrami matches well with a vinegary kick from the sauerkraut. It's a sandwich that reminds you why this hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop survived the neighborhood's ritzy make-over. 

With prominent financial businesses like Morgan Stanly and Credit Suisse located on one corner and Italian food Mecca, Eataly, glaring North, it's a mark of Eisenberg's great food and classic atmosphere that it's still in business. If a scout needed a location for a New York lunch joint, they'd most likely select Eisneberg's. And, on days like today, when I'm really missing Manhattan, I dream of bites of this dripping pastrami sandwich and slurps of Daniel's Lime Ricky.  

Side Note: Eisenberg's sliced corned beef threw me for a loop. I'm so used to seeing corned beef hash & eggs, that, when presented with real corned beef, I didn't recognize it. But, to be honest, given the choice, I'd still prefer corned beef hash (even though it probably comes from a can... *sigh*).

Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop
174 5th Ave
(between 22nd St & 23rd St)
New York, NY 10010
(212) 675-5096

THREE BACK UPS (not including the good ol' Halal carts on 6th Ave):

1)  Sophie's Cuban Cuisine
     28 E. 23rd Street
     New York, NY 10010
     What to get: Baked Chicken Sandwich, Fried Plantains, or Chicken Fricasse (stewed chicken)    

2) La Maison du Macaron
    132 West 23rd Street
    New York, NY  10011
    (212) 243-2757

   What to get: Ham and Swiss Croissants, other pastries, skip macarons

3) Birreria (at Eataly)
    200 5th Avenue
    New York, NY  10010
    What to get: Fried Shiitake mushrooms (and if you're not headed straight back to the office, a draft beer!)

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