Sandwiches are ridiculously expensive in NYC. Even a simple turkey, Swiss, lettuce and tomato on a roll costs at least $6. At my company cafeteria, I can get the same for $3.50, but the rolls are always stale. I cannot enjoy this favorite sandwich of mine unless the roll is soft and squishy.
I was getting this sandwich several times a week from a deli near work and paying the approximately $6 price (it varied, depending on who made the sandwich).
And then one day, when walking home from the train in Jersey City, I stopped like I always do to give change to the homeless guy who stands in front of the Paradise Deli. (Jeff and I are his "favorite couple!!" or as we like to refer to us after we pass him, the people putting his son through college, most likely.
It was a particularly cold night and he asked for a sandwich, so I thought what the hell. "Turkey and cheese, please!" he said as I went inside. (He's the nicest homeless guy I have ever met.)
I watched the guy behind the counter pick out a nice squishy roll and slice some Boar's Head turkey. All the meats and salads were wrapped in plastic. I tried not to think about why they must be carefully wrapped, but wrapped they are.
The sandwich rung up at $3.50. Bargain! I took it to the homeless guy who thanked me profusely. I said, "that's my favorite sandwich, too" as I handed it to him. "Really??," he said, "turkey and cheese??" It then dawned on me that he probably prefers American cheese, not the Swiss that I selected for him, but oh well. Free is free, buddy.
And from that day on, I have been stopping at Paradise Deli a few mornings a week and picking up a turkey and Swiss to bring to work. I skip the tomatoes so that it won't get soggy. I look forward to it all morning and as soon as it's noon, I can't wait any longer. It's a damn good sandwich. And no, not just because it's cheap.