When the New York Daily News ran their “Best of New York” contest, Bensonhurst won the gold. Not one, but two local institutions took home the honors for best sandwich in New York.
John’s Deli at 2033 Stillwell Avenue and Panino Rustico at 8222 17th Avenue have proven they both know what to put in between two slices of bread better than anyone else.
Here’s what the Daily News wrote about John’s Deli:
Bensonhurst has changed a lot over the last two decades. ‘John’s Signature Hot Roast Beef with Mutz and Gravy’ sandwich has not. Since 1968, John’s Deli customers who order ‘the best hero in Brooklyn’ for $7.75 get a half-pound of thinly sliced pink roast beef, two hulking slices of mozzarella, caramelized Spanish onions and dark-as-oil gravy on a long, soft hero. To call this roast beef sandwich delectable would be an understatement. The combination of flavors and textures is downright supernatural. And while the slow-roasted beef, cooked every morning in the back of the deli, is juicy and tender, it is the rich and savory gravy that will knock your socks off. It’s so popular that John’s goes through 30 gallons a day. Want the recipe? Too bad. That’s a secret. But give the sandwich-makers a tip and you’ll get John’s traditional thank you yell, ‘Subway!’ Don’t ask, just enjoy the experience.
And about Panino Rustico:
Put what you want on a sandwich, but ultimately the defining trait is the bread. All 32 kinds of sandwiches served at Panino Rustico are served on ciabatta baked six blocks away at Il Fornaretto Bakery. The proximity of bakery and sandwich shop, which keeps the ciabatta soft and fresh, makes all the difference. Of course, the sheer variety of high-quality ingredients doesn’t hurt either. The grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper, arugula and basil pesto sandwich ($9.49) is popular, as is the smoked salmon with goat cheese, red onion, avocado and truffle oil ($8.99). But the highlight at this six-man operation in a quiet residential section of Bensonhurst is the porchetta, smoked mozzarella and sautéed broccoli rabe, which is made from owner Louie Venturelli’s mother’s recipe. The recipe might be old, but the ciabatta bread is certainly fresh.
Congrats to the best of the best.