Chicken sandwich, though not what I ordered, from Mulberry Street Deli.
MULBERRY STREET DELI & MARKET: 1100 HOPE ST., STAMFORD
A fleeting break in the bleakness of winter provided an opportunity for lunch outside earlier this week.
Initially, I proposed getting sandwiches from All American Gourmet Deli and taking them down to a picnic table at Cummings Beach. The reported threat of foraging gulls deterred me from this.
We were running out of time as an increasingly dark sky forecast the possibility of precipitation. Ultimately it would be Mulberry Street Deli and benches at Springdale Little League…both locations in close proximity to the office.
While Mulberry Street is undoubtedly a reference to New York’s Little Italy, the deli on Hope. St., does actually sit at the intersection of Hope and Mulberry, a residential side street.
Number twelve on the sandwich specials menu hit the spot: grilled chicken breast with ultra crispy bacon, fresh mozzarella, lettuce tomato and basil on a Kaiser roll. It was one of the better take-out sandwiches I’ve had in a while.
[The Kaiser roll or hard roll or whatever you East Coast people call it, was something of a defeated concession on my part. Just why is it nearly impossible to find sourdough out here? We can put a man on the moon, but we can't get a decent sourdough loaf east of Oakland? Really?]
It should be noted, when I went back today to buy the same sandwich (this time on a wedge, which was excellent) to photograph for the LBC, not only did I have to wait around a while for them to scare up some grilled chicken, but it wasn’t until I got back to work that I realized it was missing the bacon and fresh basil: two absolutely key ingredients.
This sandwich, though I liked it better on the chewy wedge, was a complete failure consisting mostly of chicken swimming in a mayonnaise-based sauce.
The deli is a popular lunch spot for the trades. The steel-toe-booted clientele is slightly incongruous with the dual hi-def televisions simultaneously broadcasting Mario Batali and Martha Stewart from opposite ends of the room. But this group of regulars is also what lends a true neighborhood feeling to the deli.
At lunch, the espresso served in actual ceramic cups (from an evil pod-based machine) is a particularly popular post-meal refreshment among the many Italian-Americans that frequent the deli. After hearing a customer say to a friend “you want a splash of espresso with the ‘buca, pal,” I know why.
While there is now way I’m ever going near that espresso, I am definitely going to be back for lunch.
I’ll just have to pay attention to what, exactly, is going on my sandwich next time.