Lunch: Deli Sandwich Symmetry (How Do They Do That?)

I want to take a brief moment to appreciate the craft of the deli sandwich.

photoThis is a simple fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, onion on toasted rye ($4.50) from Blue Rose Deli in Midtown, which may as well be any one of a thousand nondescript delis in New York City. (Check out the Google search returns on: blue rose deli nyc. Pretty much radio silence.)

But just look at the construction: Somehow, the clerk at the sandwich station has managed somehow to build the sandwich so that two flimsy pieces of rye bread are actually able to contain it all. Look at that: stacks of cheese, a heaping pile of lettuce (shredded, nonetheless), multiple slices of tomato.

And you could get a sandwich just this anywhere. I consider it a small marvel of the culture of deli food. Don’t believe me? Try this at home … you’ll have lettuce, cheese and tomato slices sliding everywhere.

TIP: There’s a great blog,, dedicated to scanning and studying cross-sections of sandwiches. If you geek out about this sort of thing, check it out.


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