2018-10-31 / Restaurant of the Week

Sal, Kris & Charlie's Deli

Celebrating 78 years in business, Sal, Kris, and Charlie’s Deli is home of the undisputed “Sandwich Kings of Astoria.” This family-owned deli has been offering pretty much one thing and one thing only: the best hero sandwich in NYC, according to many. There are literally hundreds of positive reviews on Yelp, accompanied by no fewer than 476 photos to prove it. And then there’s Instagram, where you’ll drool over images of the tastiest sandwiches in Queens. Though Grandpa Sal has passed away, Mom Kris, Dad Charlie, and sons Nick and John Gordon continue the time-honored tradition of building the best sandwiches that fuel New Yorkers. Before I tell you what this landmark deli has to offer, I would like to tell you what they don’t have. At Sal, Kris and Charlie’s Deli, you won’t find wraps, panini, pizza, tacos, gyros, burgers, sushi, smoothies, tofu, yogurt, fruit, nuts, nuggets, berries, sprouts, quiche, quesadillas, chow mein, or souvlaki. What you will find is the beauty and mastery of a well-constructed hero sandwich using the highest quality meats, cheeses, toppings and freshly baked bread, made by the Bakery Boys from Corona (Alex and Nick). Add to that the passion that comes from the hardworking Gordon family, and you have a recipe for success.

Perhaps the most famous sandwiches here are “The Bomb” and “The Italian.” All sandwiches are constructed on freshly baked bread from the Bakery Boys. The Bomb combines layer upon layer of thinly sliced ham, turkey, roast beef, pastrami, mortadella, pepperoni, mild provolone cheese, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, hot and sweet roasted peppers and your choice of mayo, mustard, olive oil and vinegar or all of them, if you like. The result is nearly a 2-pound masterpiece of sandwich craft. You’ll need both hands, lots of napkins and perhaps a little help from your friends ($10). Just try to finish this yourself or call two of your best friends for help. “The Italian” combines prosciutto, Genoa salami, soppressata, pepperoni, sharp provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers and is best with olive oil and vinegar sprinkled on top. Wash it all down with a huge array of soft drinks including sodas, teas, Manhattan Special espresso coffee soda, Starbucks coffee drinks, sparkling waters and juices of all kinds.

It’s always a pleasure to see Nick, who is friendly and cheerful. He personally made my sandwich with honey roasted turkey, fresh mozzarella, red roasted peppers, and tomatoes on fresh bread with the perfect texture to bite into. Try some of their super-fresh salads, made on the premises, that include cole slaw, potato salad, marinated mushrooms and crunchy pickles. Make a classic sandwich of their fabulous chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad and shrimp salad that even the kids will love. Take containers home and make sandwiches for school all week long. By the way, their rice pudding is excellent so don’t forget to take some home with you.

Another secret to their success is the quality and freshness of the meats and cheeses. An 8-foot refrigerator displays dozens of hams, salamis, turkey, chicken, bologna, pastrami and more. With specialty varieties such as jerk chicken, honey turkey, honey ham, Mortadella, Virginia ham, and Genoa salami and even low-salt varieties, you’ll never have to eat the same sandwich twice. There’s corned beef too, and prosciutto, sweet or hot capicola, bologna, corned beef and more. Nick sliced up a pound of their super lean, cured pastrami for me to take home and each thin slice just melted on my tongue.

For your next party or football game, order a huge, 6-foot sandwich or 3-foot hero for your guests as you watch the game. Fill the hero with either American style or Italian style cold cuts or create your own specialty sub and wow your guests. Take a break from work at lunchtime or stop in on your way to Astoria Park for a picnic lunch and enjoy perhaps the best sandwich you’ll ever have. Sal, Kris and Charlie’s is easy to find…just look for the line out the door at lunchtime which typically includes the hardworking staff of NYPD, Con Edison, MTA, FDNY and local citizens who flock to the Sandwich Kings of Astoria. Sal, Kris and Charlie’s Deli is open seven days a week from 5am to 8pm and until 3pm on Sundays.

33-12 23rd Avenue
Astoria  718.278.9240

(Between 33rd and 35th Street)

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