W. Gainesville's slice of N. Y. heaven
By: Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent
Creating a good deli experience is not an easy feat, no matter the location. In fact, a deli that boasts providing a "true New York deli experience" is another ballpark all its own. The Big Apple is known for having uniquely delectable food items, from New York-style bagels to a great New York slice of pizza. Claiming to provide that aforementioned "New York deli experience," Dave's New York Deli in Gainesville's Tioga Town Center says that it even gets all of its corned beef and pastrami meats directly from Carnegie Deli in New York.
I don't know about anyone else, but I was sold.
I wasn't sure exactly what to expect when walking up to the small shop with the Statue of Liberty and New York-esque signage out front. As an annual visitor to this northeast state, I have had countless deli sandwiches, one from Carnegie Hall itself which was an experience too lavish and detailed to go on a tangent about now. Needless to say I was ready to try what, in my opinion, is the most traditional of sandwiches at such a shop, especially with all the hype surrounding it. However, I was overwhelmed and surprised by the amazing selection of menu items available.
I figured there would be the hot and cold sub list, with maybe a few salads thrown in for good measure. Dave's seemed to attempt to fit all — and I mean all — of New York's signature bests into one shop: the sweetness of the cannoli and black and white cookie to the savory of a breakfast sandwich and knish and the classics of wings and hotdogs. Despite this, the cashier was adamant that although Dave's sold everything from burgers and "grinders" to bagels and cheesecake, if I wasn't going to get a Philly cheesesteak or a Reuben, both of which she said people have come from all over to try, then I had to order off of the "Hot NY Deli Sandwiches" menu.
Thank goodness for the cashier's advice, or this food adventurer would have attempted to try one of everything. After settling on that one menu page out of many others, I was drawn to the classics: pastrami and corned beef. This led me to the New York, New York, which gave me the best of both worlds, and then some. Actually, I got the "special" version, which meant my sandwich would have coleslaw and Swiss cheese on it, too. My friend opted for the Reuben after the cashier's convincing argument. With a side pickle and a reasonable price (under $8 without a drink), I was salivating just envisioning it.
After a brief parting from the menu of maybe 5-10 minutes tops, my friend and I were presented with our sandwiches, nay, masterpieces. My sandwich, image at the top of this feature, was a delicate assembly of both hot corned beef and pastrami piled high with a thick layer of creamy coleslaw and Swiss cheese gracing the bottom inner slice of rye bread that, according to the cashier, "makes the sandwich so special." I couldn't agree more. The flavorful seeded rye bread was the perfect blanket to encompass the rich fillings, from the hearty, but thinly-sliced meats to the creaminess of the homemade coleslaw and cheese. Each bite was a flavor explosion as exciting and tantalizing as the last, leaving me wanting more despite the sandwich's size. A bite of my friend's Reuben produced similar sensations, as the sauerkraut, dressing, Swiss cheese and hot corned beef married together perfectly as one of the better Reubens I've tasted.
Note: As I am writing all of this I find myself with an insatiable craving for a NY-style sandwich. This place may be the death of my diet (and wallet), so heed this word of warning.
After a pleasant lunch outside on a cool, crisp, sunny Gainesville day, I have found another gem on the outskirts of Gainesville. However, it is very worth the drive. Maybe Dave's can even fill the void that TooJay's Gourmet Deli left after closing its Gainesville location. I have yet to find a black and white cookie as perfectly done as TooJay's, but perhaps next time I go back to Dave's I can find one that gives the TooJay's version a run for its money – and there will most certainly be a next time.
The Pluses and Minuses of Dave's New York Deli:
Dave's New York Deli (+) indicators: Delicious food, knowledgeable staff, timely food delivery, varied and abundant menu items, reasonably pricedt.
Dave's New York Deli (-) indicators: A bit of a drive out, may cause addiction.
Reuben sandwich, deli, is NYC authentic
By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
Editor's Noter: Dave's New York Deli has relocated to Tioga Town Center since this story has been written. Look for a new Dave's feature soon!
The GLOB Master was in search of a very tasty Reuben sandwich leading up to St. Patty's Day on Saturday.
Starting from the edges of the Urban GLOB on this corn beef odyssey, we decided to start with Dave's New York Deli at Jonesville. Inside Dave's to the right as you enter is counter after counter of delicious deli items and giant menus on the wall.
Could there be better place to seek out corn beef and kraut?
The checkerboard taxi theme throughout this narrow lunch stop works. It's like an alley way of authentic lunch time joy with the other wall of Dave's lined with tables filled with hungry customers and on the wall a giant photo of New York City depicting the good 'ole days of NYC.
More importantly, Dave is right there in the middle of it all imparting his New York 'tude. But his demeanor is a demonstration of how he loves his deli and the folks he serves. Dave is a talker, and he keeps the deli jumping with his continual banters and friendly delivery of your order directly to your table in quick fashion.
When it was time for the GLOB Historian, Jon Roosenraad, and myself to order, I told Dave, left in photo, we were in search of the most authentic corned beef and sauerkraut sandwich Gainesville.
He replied: "Well, if you're looking for authentic, then you want the Dave's Hot, Toasted Corn Beef Sandwich. And there's no need to go anywhere else because my Reuben is the best in town."
Dave suggested I order the New York size. It was filled with double the corned beef and sauerkraut, 1000 island dressing, and Swiss cheese.
"Is the dressing really an authentic aspect of the sandwich, Dave?" I asked, not being a big fan of mayo-ketchup mix.
"You said authentic didn't you," he says, looking at me puzzled.
That's when the sandwich maker behind the counter spoke up saying he would add a little spicy mustard on the side.
My lunch pal, whose last name, may I remind you, is ROOSENRAAD, is from the midwest -- if you couldn't guess from that last name, and I have noticed he always orders pastrami instead of corned beef. With a little Irish luck, he will add a comment explaining his preference of the two cured meats. I have added a link here to REUBENOGRAPHY for another take on the differences. It seems like the particulars are 'all about the deckle'.
When Dave delivered our sandwiches I was flabbergasted at how my CB & SK was twice as big as Jonny's pastrami on rye.
I'm a big guy, and I could have eaten both halves of that giant sandwich. However I did feel better about taking half of my lunch home for later. The corned beef was sliced very thin and stacked impressively, mountain-like, between two perfectly toasted slices of rye bread. The sauerkraut had a nice crunch and very good tart, sour flavor that complemented the spices in the corned beef. The 1000 island dressing was all right. There is so much flavor from this sandwich that my indifference toward the dressing was not an issue, but I happily dunked bites of my sandwich into my mustard on the side.
That's kinda like a 'side order fries,' isn't it?
Kudos to Dave's sandwich maker for offering up the side order of mustard. This busy deli with the spicy mustard, my new pal Dave, and the excellent sandwich blended together to make a fabulous Reubenesque lunch experience.
Dr. Roosenraad's first question as we headed back into town was whether I thought Dave's New York Deli worth the drive. The GLOB Master's quick response was, "I'm going back."
Was there a mustard ban in the old days and THAT's why they created 1000 island dressing?
Long time pal and GLOB Historian, Jon Roosenraad, and I were in serious conversation about the differences between a Dave's NY Deli Pastrami Sandwich on rye bread, and a DNYD Rueben with stacked corned beef, sauerkraut, and spicy mustard, when Dave's owner, Dave Anderson, walked up pointing at a packaged, hermetically sealed slab of beef brisket. "See this," he says proudly raising the brisket a little higher. The Boar's head regional sales guy says I am the only restaurant in his district selling this Boar's Head, USDA Choice Beef Mesquite Smokehouse 1st Cut Smoked Seasoned Beef Brisket. "You're making a big mistake if you don't try our Mesquite Smoked BBQ Beef brisket sandwich today," Dave said with that look–in-your-eye matter of fact-ness only a New Yorker can get away with. "Think about it," he added. "Slow smoked beef brisket topped with BBQ sauce, and our homemade, creamy cole slaw served on on a garlic toasted Kaiser roll." I understand when not to say no, and I was pleasantly pleased with my lunch time brisket sandwich. Like all of Dave's sammies, the thin- sliced, 100% natural mesquite smoked beef wasn't a tough chew like most briskets I have experienced. The cole slaw added a nice moist touch to the BBQ that included a very mild BBQ sauce. I'm more and more realizing a good sandwich is only as good as the bread encasing the yummy ingredients. This was an excellent Kaiser role -- crunchy on the outside with a divine texture of warm, chewy bread inside. NOTE TO TEE LEE: This beef brisket deserves your complete, red-meat protein attention.
The Pluses and Minuses of Dave's New York Deli:
Dave's New York Deli (+) indicators: An excellent lunch in an authentic N.Y. deli environment.
Dave's New York Deli (-) indicators: At times I think passports are necessary this far out of town .
Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about La Fortuna Latin Market & Deli. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 352 333-0291
- Address: 12921 SW 1st Rd Ste 105, Gainesville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: West Gainesville
- Web Site: http://davesnewyorkdeli.com/index.htm
- Latitude: 29.6518243
- Longitude: -82.4711407
Jane Tuesday, 20 December 2016 18:46 Comment Link
Love the food! However, this is not a Hooters atmosphere so extremely short shorts is distasteful.
Jon Roosenraad Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:27 Comment Link
Seriously good sandwich with that brisket. But old standbys of pastrami or corned beef still make Dave's the best and most "New Yorkish" deli in town. And I don't even like NYC.
Kim H. Friday, 05 April 2013 12:06 Comment Link
Hey Mike! I just want to second your endorsement of Dave's New York Deli! Not sure that it would appeal to vegans but, as a vegetarian, I can always find something good to eat. The egg salad sandwich is great--I find that the very generous helping of egg salad doesn't need much else, so I sometimes skip my usual tomato and lettuce and simply enjoy it on rye bread. I love the big Greek salad, with or without potato salad. And I was thrilled when Dave's started selling a veggie burger! Yum!
Patrick Monday, 30 July 2012 15:41 Comment Link
Been there for pastrami sandwich. good stuff. friendly owner. comes around to tables making sure everyone is good. need another ring tone reminder
Bubba Scott Thursday, 19 July 2012 21:18 Comment Link
Gosh that dog looks good! I'm gonna have to check this place out next time I"m goin to Home Depot. Eatable article Mike.
Jon Roosenraad Thursday, 15 March 2012 12:47 Comment Link
Mike is right -- this place is worth the drive. Definitely a real New York deli that does a very busy lunch -- lined up at 11:30 and just kept coming. And Midwestern or not, I know enough about deli's to know a real New Yorker judges one on its pastrami and NOT on the rather strange combination that makes up a Reuben.