Finding out that my neighborhood Mexican market makes great deli sandwiches was like finding out Ryan Gosling can tap dance — I didn’t need it to be sold, but it thrills me nonetheless. In recent months, the owners of 51st Deli have leaned allllll the way in on their transformation from “Savemore Supermarket” to hipster haven. There are at least four kinds of coconut water up in that bitch now, and I say good on them! Get that millennial money while the getting’s good. Fortunately for the rest of us, prices haven’t spiked yet, so you can still get carnitas for $1.75 per taco, and sandwiches that don’t crack $10.
My go-to in the latter arena is The Hot Cappy: salty, mildly spicy Boar’s Head capocollo layered with provolone, lettuce and tomato on a fluffy ciabatta bun. When squished, the sandwich achieves the proper meat-to-bread ratio, which for me is 50/50. (Not as insane as New York City’s legendary Katz’s Deli, but not as pathetic as Jimmy John’s.) The Cappy is finished with Sabi Sauce, a smoky, tomato-horseradish mayo that pairs perfectly with capocollo. It’s your lunchbox ham sandwich grown up into an Italian hero.