In honor of "National Sandwich Day," I figured I would share with my Triangle neighbors one of the key benefits of the recent population boom. The influx of Yankees to North Carolina brings their unique taste for a quality deli. Luckily, some of those transplants brought their recipes along, which means people like me don't have to travel far for chewy bagels, piled-high hoagies (call them submarines if you must) and fresh cannoli.
These delis are the real deal.
I discovered New York Bagel and Deli III in Cary on my first day of work at WRAL. I needed the fuel of a fried egg on a bagel to get me through the work day, and what better way to introduce myself than to share a dozen with my new co-workers. I happened to be staying in a hotel around the corner, and, though I have moved two times since the, NYBD remains my go-to for bagels, huge hoagies and black-and-white cookies.
The number three in the name stems from the family business. Other locations are in New York City and Sedona, Arizona. Each is owned by a different member of the same family, and staff behind the counter spans the generations.
I popped in to the Morrisville Deli on Davis Drive after a Saturday morning trip to the Western Wake Farmers Market and was overwhelmed by the selection and the seriously good coffee. When an Italian grandmother takes your order, you know it's going to be good.
There is creativity in the menu – gourmet sandwiches with names like the Greta Garbo, Smokey Joe and the Bobby Dinero. You can also build your own, choosing from meats, cheeses and toppings on bread, wrap or roll.
Morrisville Deli also caters to companies in RTP.
I was looking for an alternative to NYBD when Yelp introduced me to Manhattan Cafe on High House Road. I didn't need to see the menu to know it would deliver. Old Jewish couples sharing sandwiches on a Saturday morning? They know a good deli!
Manhattan is easy to overlook in a shopping center with other options, but it stands out for friendly, personal service, fresh baked goods and very reasonable prices. After 1 p.m., a dozen bagels sells for $4.99.
Weinberg's in North Raleigh is the true Jewish deli of the Triangle. The menu may not be familiar to those raised on soft bread and pimiento cheese, but if you are looking for Matzo Ball soup, whitefish salad or a Reuben, look no further.
Regulars praise the authenticity – Weinbergs cooks their own pastrami and corned beef, and serves blintzes, knish and potato pancakes. They even have space for a sit-down dinner. Settle in for open-faced turkey with gravy, a kosher knockwurst or stuffed cabbage.
The companion to the Jewish deli, one with Italian flair, can be found in Wake Forest. DaVinci's Prime Meats & Deli has made a name as a provider of fresh meats and cheeses, and restaurant-quality prepared dishes and desserts. It is so much more than a sandwich shop.
They make their mozzarella fresh in-house daily, butcher all kinds of meats, AND they make a mean hoagie – piled high and packed with quality, custom ingredients.
If you have a hankering for a serious sandwich to celebrate National Sandwich Day, any one of these is worth the trip.