Food & Drink

Why Deli BLT's Still Reign Supreme

It’s no secret that a quick, cheap lunch in NYC is usually neither quick nor cheap. But lucky for you, we’re on a mission to find the most affordable lunch options in the city -- that actually taste good. We’re traveling all over New York in search of the best lunchtime meal in several popular New York neighborhoods -- but it has to be under $5.

In New York, there is a deli for every occasion -- 24 hour spots for 2am chopped cheese sandwiches, corner stores for breakfast burritos, famed Jewish mainstays for pastrami on rye, local bodegas for emergency dish detergent. And while the sheer volume of delicatessens in the city may seem excessive -- almost virus-like -- bodegas tend to maintain a sense of personality. No two are exactly alike.

In SoHo, where most real estate is occupied by big banks and chain pharmacies, generally palatable food tends to cost the equivalent of bottle-service at Lavo. That is, excluding the delis. Like anywhere else, there is a bodega on nearly every corner -- and perhaps the most spectacular of them all is M&O.

Positioned on the corner of Thompson and Prince, M&O is just as unassuming as its counterparts. But beyond the utterly unsexy rust-colored awning, and the dim neon Corona sign, the place delivers some of the best sandwiches in SoHo. The deli counter serves excellent Pastrami (though Katz’s nearby shop has the monopoly on that one), truly indulgent chicken parm, and most importantly, a perfect BLT.

On a classic kaiser roll topped with house-made mayo, a wealth of crunchy bacon strips, tomato, and fresh lettuce, the sandwich hits all the marks: crunchy, salty, buttery, and strangely refreshing for a food item built primarily of bread and bacon. And most importantly, in the land of Marc Jacobs and Balthazar, it’ll cost you just $5.

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Eliza Dumais believes deli sandwiches are an essential food group. Follow her @elizadumais.