In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Olympic Restaurant has not aged well, though few things on Delancey and Essex have. But I'll give the place credit for chugging along, rickety booths, kvetching old guys, and all, because even down-and-out diners have an important place in New York. And it's not like this street corner offers a wealth of dining options—Essex Street Market excepted, of course.
They do a decent BLT ($4.50) on thick-cut toast—rye is nice—with fresh crunchy iceberg, less-mealy-than-they-look tomatoes, and sweet, smoky bacon cooked on the right side of too crisp. You'll want some mayo in there to moisten the bread, which is admirably crisp but something of a workout to chew.
A hot Meatloaf Sandwich ($5.50) is bland and uniform in texture, though I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it in a school lunch kind of way. Ample gravy helps, and it brings that well-toasted rye into sync.
Egg cream fans can find a decent one here ($2). It's a little less effervescent than I'd like, but it boasts a creamy foam that edges off the sides of the glass.
Don't go out of your way for a meal at Olympic Diner, but if you're looking for a taste of the old Lower East Side, it'll offer you one.