Bread. Meat. Cheese. It seems so simple, the deli sandwich. Yet, when you find a truly great one, there is bound to be a happy dance involved. What makes a great deli sandwich? It all starts with great bread. From there, fresh produce, rich cheese and sliced meats are all bound together with mustard, oil or mayonnaise.
So, where can you find one? Here are a few of the best around town.
The General Muir
1540 Avenue Pl B-230, Atlanta; www.thegeneralmuir.com
It’s no surprise that one of the highest regarded delis in America would turn out a great deli sandwich. In the case of this Emory Point deli, it’s turning out many. The go-to for several customers is the Reuben. In-house-made corned beef is piled high on fresh rye bread with creamy Russian dressing, sauerkraut and melted gruyere cheese.
For a lighter but still delicious choice, go with the roasted turkey. Slow roasted turkey is joined with portabella mushroom, lemon crème fraiche, peppery arugula and gruyere.
E. 48th Street Market
2462 Jett Ferry Rd, Dunwoody; www.e48thstreetmarket.com
Authentic is the one word loyal fans use to describe this Dunwoody deli. Charlie and Anita Augello hail from New York City, the children of Italian immigrants, and brought their experience with them. They opened a market filled with Italian goodies like pasta, wine and a great menu of deli sandwiches.
The Stoffato is filled to bursting with salami, mortadella, capicola, provolone cheese and lettuce. It is all held together with a tomato-based special sauce. Substitute that with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a more authentic flavor.
Fred’s Meat and Bread
99 Krog St NE, Atlanta; www.fredsmeatandbread.com
It seems almost unfair to have two restaurant from the same owner on the list, but when you find a good sandwich, you find a good sandwich. At Krog Street Market, that good sandwich is found at Fred’s Meat and Bread.
The Italian grinder is about as perfect a dish as you’ll find. Soft, fresh baked bread is loaded with mortadella, shredded pork, salami and provolone cheese. It’s then dressed with ripe tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, spicy cheer peppers and oil and vinegar. The hardest choice you'll have is what kind of fries to order.
Muss and Turner's
1675 Cumberland Pkwy SE, Smyrna; www.mussandturners.com
It’s not all Humpty Dumpty and brunch at Cobb County’s Muss and Turner’s. When lunchtime rolls around, the deli counter comes alive with made-to-order sandwiches that do the restaurant proud. For a traditional taste, go with the pastrami on wry. Holeman and Finch marble rye bread is piled high with Wagyu brisket pastrami and horseradish aioli, served hot.
The best part of the sandwiches is that they come with your choice of pickles. Any deli lover knows that the pickle is one of the most important parts of the meal. Diners get their choice of dill, sour and garlicky, fresh and crunchy, a pickled green tomato or pickled jalapenos.
Elliot Street Deli and Pub
51 Elliott St SW, Atlanta; www.elliottstreet.com
If you like your sandwiches with a side of Newcastle and a shot of Fireball, this is your spot. Located in the shadows of the Georgia Dome in Castleberry Hill, there are no frills about this place. Just good times and great food.
Try the mad Italian for a sandwich that’s overflowing with greatness. Sliced bread is piled with two kinds of ham, honey-glazed and spicy, mortadella, Genoa salami, provolone cheese and pesto mayonnaise. Lettuce, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and oil and vinegar round it out.
61 Irby Ave NW, Atlanta; www.henrisbakery.com
Home to one the most iconic signs in Buckhead, Henri’s is known for its incredible bakery and deli. The iconic restaurant has been attracting people since 1929. Sure, there are cases filled with buttery croissants and decadent cakes. But, for hungry lunch goers, a beeline is made for the popular sandwich case.
The freshly made onion rolls are the star at Henri's. Nearly any filling is made better by the soft, pungent roll. For a real homerun though, try the roast beef. Tender roasted beef, a smear of spicy mustard and a dollop of mayo is all you need. Do yourself a favor and grab a black and white cookie for dessert.