If you didn’t know any better you might walk into the Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop and think “wow, this place really needs an update.” But, if you have lived in New York City for long enough, you know that when you stumble upon place that looks like it hasn’t changed since the 1920s, you have likely found a true treasure. What others see as worn-out, a New Yorker sees as well-loved.
That is certainly true for Eisenberg Sandwich Shop. Although the place is packed on any given day and every stool at the counter is taken, I always seem to be able to find a table.
Service is really fast here, and within moments of sitting down you will be served a paper dish full of pickles as a starter. Why can’t all restaurants do this? I would happily trade in most bread bowls for some of Eisenberg’s pickles.
After decimating those, I settle in for what I always can’t help but order: chocolate cream soda, matzo ball soup, and a pastrami reuben.
It really is a shame that I am stuck in this rut because there are so many other delicious things on the menu and many of them are almost impossible to find anywhere else (lime rickeys, chicken liver and hot tongue sandwiches). That’s why it is nice to dine with someone of an earlier generation like my mother-in-law who always orders the chicken liver sandwich – or your grandma who remembers drinking lime rickeys at the local soda shop when she was a kid. This stuff is not foreign to them, and they can introduce you to the good stuff that you might otherwise be too afraid to order. But make no mistake, people don’t go to Eisenberg Sandwich Shop for a trip down memory lane. They go because the food is really, really good.