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New Yorker Deli does the Big Apple proud 

Somebody needs to tell the folks at the New Yorker Marketplace and Deli that they're way too nice. They actually smile at you when you get to the front of the line, and they don't glower if it takes you a second to figure out what you want. They even tell you to take your time! Where do they think they are, Georgia? Oh, right.

Splendorous Sandwiches: Well, I'll say one thing for the New Yorker: They've done a fine job of educating us Southerners on the finer points of corned beef and pastrami. The New Yorker's sandwiches are things of beauty -- an obscene amount of meat and cheese squished between slices of marble rye or squeezing out the sides of a fresh hoagie roll. I find the Turkey Rachel particularly alluring, with its combination of turkey, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing. A minute on the grill and you've got sandwich perfection, or something pretty damn close to it. Tidiness is out of the question -- everything squirts out as soon as you take the first bite. Copious napkins required.

A Fine Mess: Same goes for the East Coast Roast, a beast of a roast beef sandwich topped with melted Swiss and horseradish mayo on a toasted garlic hoagie roll. Even the New Yorker's vegetarian sandwiches are brawny: take Michelle's Mozzarella, a huge hoagie stuffed with roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, tomatoes and vinaigrette.

No Phony Baloney: I'm almost ashamed to admit I've ordered the fried bologna sandwich. But order it I have, and enjoyed it. Deeply. Bologna on white bread with a squeeze of yellow mustard has always been one of my guilty pleasures, but I had never experienced anything like this. An onion roll cradles a veritable mountain of thin-sliced beef bologna, crowned with American cheese and plenty of mustard. I can't say I'd recommend eating it on a regular basis, but if you've done something virtuous, this is a heavenly reward.

Cold Case: An array of prepared foods peers out from the New Yorker's deli case, but they're hit-or-miss. A fluffy, broccoli-filled knish, toasted in the oven for a few minutes, makes a lovely afternoon snack. But some of the salads seem worse for wear after a day behind glass. Sugar snap peas are wilty, and potato salad is heavy on the onions and light on the salt. Next time, I'd opt for a bag of Zapp's potato chips and a black-and-white cookie instead.

Gourmet To-Go: Besides sandwiches and prepared foods, the New Yorker also specializes in fresh meats and seafood. Pick up a couple of hand-cut T-bone steaks, a slice of pâté and a pot of truffle butter on your way home from work, and you've got an instant dinner party.

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