As my Schmaltz sandwich project nears its conclusion, I thought it worthwhile to share my experiences to date - no pictures of course, since I am only dealing in the pure, subjective truth here
To eat every sandwich on the new Schmaltz sandwich menu
(can't get this link to work...)
Progress to date
I am almost done, though Howard has pointed out that they are planning to roll out a new menu shortly, with doubledecker versions of most sandwiches. There are just a few sammies left to sample.
The skinny on Schmaltz's sammies
In general, Scmaltz does a good job, but the bread does not hold its own. I have complained about this, and they have acknowledged that the bread is the weak link, but nothing gets done about it, so I wonder... Anyway, there has been a promise of better bread to come soon, and I will update this when it happens.
All sandwiches come with half of a honking big pickle made by some place in the city. Originally, the pickles were amazingly fresh and delightful - upon inquiry, Howard indicated the pickles were no more than a day or two old. This no longer seems to be the case, and while they are very good kosher dills, they no longer burst with the cucumber freshness of the past. I am disappointed, but only in comparison to what they used to offer - the pickles are quite good.
Now in order:
1. Gramercy Park: warm pastrami or turkey pastrami on marble rye. Both meats and the mustard are quite good, so if you feel a need to go with Turkey Pastrami have no fear. Sure you do not get the fat one needs for a really good sandwich, but it is tasty. The bread is awful, with sugar on the crust. Opt for regular rye.
2. Boston Common: Roast beef on dark rye with sweet onion relish, horseradish sauce, lettuce and tomato. The high point here is the beef, which is plentful, flavorful and quite tasty. The sweet onion relish is good, but adds nothing to the sammy for me - I would prefer raw onions, without so much sweetness. The rye is good, workmanlike, the lettuce and tomato acceptable in the context. A fine sandwich.
3. Nashville: Beef brisket, BBQ sauce, cole slaw. Not yet sampled. Stay tuned. I have deep reservations about this, since I expect it to be bottled BBQ sauce and they sell it with an Elvis reference, but I guess I must do it.
4. Herald Square - Turkey breast, fat-free tomato basil pesto mayo (??), lettuce, tomato, cracked wheat bread. If this bread were a little fresher it would be wonderful. If the mayo had fat in it, it might be good. As we all know, sliced turkey breast is really the meat version of tofu, and since it has not been fermented, or dosed with some serious seasoning, it is, umm, blah. If you like this kind if sandwich, I think this is not bad, but is definitely not for me.
5. Wall Street: Corned beef on rye with mustard. Since they switched to Sy Ginsberg for the Corned Beef, it is much better, and this has become a damned good sandwich - nicely tangy beef, good quality deli mustard, industrial rye, well-stuffed. If they just had a little better bread this would be great.
6. Brooklyn Beef: a nice chunk of warm brisket on a dipped roll, with horseradish sauce. Another very good one. Rich, warm, chewy brisket, pretty good roll, noce tang of horseradish. When not on a mission, I usually get a pastrami sandwich, but this is my change of pace choice.
7. LA Times: Albacore tuna salad on pita with roasted peppers (from a jar) lettuce and tomato. This was the bread nadir - an industrial piece of pita, slightly cold, that fell apart as I ate. After having this I finally confronted them on their bread issues. The tuna salad is very meaty and chunky - high quality, giant chunks, much more tuna than salad. I found it a bit underseasoned, but I was fighting a head cold so it may have been me. Howard insisted it was pretty aggressively seasoned. Anyway, a high quality, meaty tuna salad, but get some other bread, probably the light or dark rye.
More to come. There are 17 standard sandwiches in total and they get more adventurous here, but they are a couple of surprsingly good ones.