N.Y. Book Of Sandwich, Vol. 5

The best of the iconic chopped cheese

By Shari Gab

N.Y. Book of Sandwich, Vol. 5
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18 January 2017

New York City is home to 99 Michelin stars.

But it’s not what we do best. Because in New York, there’s gourmet, and then there’s the food of the people.

And beyond the grab-n-go slice, it doesn’t get more iconic than the chopped cheese sandwich. It’s ground beef with onions, dressed with melted cheese and served up with lettuce, tomatoes and condiments on a grilled hero roll. And from a cameo in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown to a recurring role as a hip-hop motif, it’s our answer to the Philly Cheese.

And here’s where to get the best of the best.

Blue Sky Deli & Grocery (formerly Hajji’s)
Harlem
The O.G. iteration. Some say bodega god Carlos Soto (who passed in 2014) created the sandwich during his 20-year run at the bodega.

Tasty Picks
Bronx
Open 24 hours and stuffing ‘em chock full of cheese and green peppers. You don’t stand a chance, hangover.

179 Deli
Queens
Your humble editor welcomes the firestorm of disapproval, but this is the best one I had.

Savory Deli & Grocery
Sugar Hill
If you thought you weren’t going to be traveling far and wide for the good stuff, you thought wrong. It’s worth it. Add bacon.

White Gold
Upper West Side
The beauty of the chopped cheese is that it satiates without emptying your pockets. That is, it should cost less than six bucks. So this locale came under serious fire when they rolled out a $15 iteration (they later lowered the price). Is it delicious? Yes. Is it still $12? Definitely.

Grab-n-Go Deli
Washington Heights
The best under-the-radar find.

Finest Deli
Crown Heights
They churn out about 40 a week, mostly to youngsters. And if there’s anyone who knows where to get killer, cheap food, it’s the starving yet scrappy youth.

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