Opened back in November, Court Street Grocers is making some of the best sandwiches we've had recently (and we are sandwich crazies)—plus you can wash them down with tough-to-find-in-NYC regional sodas. Like Cheerwine, for which they drive down to North Carolina to pick up crates of the real cane-sugar version. The fridge also stocks cans of Vernors ginger ale, glass bottles of Bubble Up, and Kombucha.
"We have over 40 sources for our products," said co-owner Matt Ross of the impressively curated bodega-sized shop. After studying at RISD with his now CSG biz partner Eric Finkelstein, he worked at the late Balducci's on 14th Street, then got a masters in food studies at NYU, where he met his now sandwich chef Andrew Burman.
Walking back to the sandwich counter, you'll stop at least five times, distracted by the boxes of Quisp cereal, Beecher's cheese crackers, and La Quercia prosciutto from Iowa.
"We're not trying to be organic or hyperlocal," said Ross. They're not just about the Brooklyn-brined pickles and small-batch granola from the librarian who works at the coffeeshop around the corner (though they carry both). The three dudes just want to sell all the seriously good stuff they can find across the country.
Of the sandwiches, our favorites included the aptly named Delight ($9)."That sure is delightful!" said Kenji between bites. Corned beef that's been brined for 14 days gets layered with melted Muenster and crunchy, a tad creamy coleslaw on wide slices of Orwasher's Pumpernickle. The Reuben ($9) is also a very fine sandwich, but if we were in a beefy mood, we'd go after the Delight instead.
The breakfast sandwich fanatics at SE approved of the square-shaped ciabatta from Orwasher's Breads smashing together two fluffy eggs and melted Shelburne Farms cheddar, with a few leaves of arugula thrown in there. We also liked the Pork Roll ($4), a Jersey favorite that's a delicious porky saltbomb. The Grilled Cheese ($5) happily marries the same Shelburne Farms cheddar with tart, crisp apple slices and a swipe of Solebury Orchard's dark apple butter for a sweet touch.
And, wow, the triple-decker Turkey Club ($10): layers of moist roasted white meat with confit dark meat between slices of fluffy white bread, sweet mayo, crisp iceberg and a tomato slice. It's a few steps above your average diner, toothpick-speared club sandwich.
Check out all the sandwiches in the slideshow above.