Southern NYC Lunch Tour

Thursday, October 12, 2006


94 Deli
94 Fulton St.
Oct 10, 2006

It's a beautiful cloudless 70 degree October day in the financial district, crowds everywhere. On such days, people are like a gas, evenly distributed, with no natural vacuums present. A famous philosopher once said that nature abhors a vacuum: not the case inside of 94 Deli, as it turns out. I was the only one there at 12:30pm. That and the 1990 prices (a sandwich for $2.75!!!) made me uneasy; something could go terribly wrong.

I took a quick look at the hot food/salad bar. Everything was covered with the congealed film of disuse that only happens to these items in the late afternoon, when they've had a chance to kick back for a few hours. I decided my safest option would be a sandwich all of whose contents had been intentionally preserved; I opted for the pastrami reuben. The guy, looking a little puzzled, asked "you wan pastrami?" and then said something into an intercom. Although this made me uneasy, I decided to forge ahead with day 1 of Lunch Tour. Fortunately, this was the only actual low point of the experience.

Everything else went smoothly; the sandwich was prepared in a reasonable amount of time, the cook offered to toast the rye bread for me and put it through twice which was excellent, asked me if I wanted mustard, and $5.50 later I was the proud owner of an unusually inexpensive pastrami reuben, so far no repercussions.

They are a couple of blocks away from the piers, which is a plus for those days when informal outdoor dining is an option; they have an ATM, a sole public internet access terminal, a large selection of beers and sodas, a seating area, and a nostalgically pale green tile decor. And the pastrami reuben probably won't kill you.


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