Odds are if you have ever worked in an office, there is one place nearby that everyone goes to for lunch. Someone probably refers to it as “just the best”.
This delicatessen appears to be that place for this neighborhood. There were plenty of people there that acted like regulars. They joked around with the staff, referred to counter persons by first name, and just ordered whatever special was available. Places that are “the spot” for any particular neighborhood can fall into a trap. Since they have a steady flow of customers, they don’t have to worry about standing out from the competition.
It was a real shame for me, because my sandwich could have been something very good.
I ordered the Tex Mex on a wedge ($7.50). It is chicken cutlet, avocado, pepper-jack cheese, and salsa. I had them swap out salsa for mayonnaise. The chicken was perfectly cooked. It was sliced thin, but not paper thin. The meat was tender and tasty, and not overly breaded. The last thing any restaurant wants to put out is undercooked chicken, but overcooked is almost as lousy. This was just right. My beef with the chicken (ha ha) was that it was not warm. I understand that they cook a lot of chicken before the lunch rush, but they could have at least warmed the sandwich. That would have melted the cheese, which would have been great.
To be clear: This was a good sandwich, but with a little care it could have been excellent. Granted, the bread was weak, but just a few minutes in a panini press and it would have been something much better than the plain Jane I was presented. It’s a great example of the proprietors saying “It’s good enough.” “Good enough” is just enough to get by. It’s the difference between me finding the meal acceptable, and me making sure that I stop in to the deli anytime I’m in the area. It’s the difference between a one-time-visit and repeat business.
I was really peeved with the service. “If you see me looking over the menu board to decide what you have, and there is no one behind me, don’t keep asking me if you can help me. Obviously not. I’m not holding up the line. I’m not on a cell phone. Even if you think I look like a jackass, unless I’m acting like one, you shouldn’t treat me like one.” Furthermore, I asked for my sandwich to stay. I got it wrapped in foil and in a brown paper bag. They had plates. I saw them. Other customers were sitting at the tables eating off them. “Are you trying to send me a hint?” Jerk.
While you should not run from J&M, there is nothing compelling to make you walk in the door. Granted, it appeared to be “the spot” just due to lack of any other quick sandwich shop in the area. Sadly, in this case, their quickness is their downfall.
J&M Fine Foods Deli
733 North Bedford Road
Bedford Hills, NY 10507