Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop

Thursday, July 26th, 2007 | All Things, Eats, NYC History

A couple of weeks ago, S and J keyed me in to Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop, a low-key gem of a diner, located just steps from Madison Square Park. It seemed like just the spot for our Thursday midday excursion.

This vintage luncheonettes has been a Flatiron fixture since 1929, but this afternoon was my first visit. After three-quarters of a century, Gourmet columnist Michael Stern still swears by the egg-salad sandwich as does the Voice’s Robert Sietsema. Eric Asimov of the Times touts the “elementally perfect tuna sandwich.”

In 2006, the vintage sandwich shop was saved from being turned into a soulless Starbucks/Duane Reade/Chase by Josh Konecky — a longtime Eisenberg’s regular turned owner, and “curator of a lunch experience.”


We arrived at the peak of lunch hour and were seated near the famed counter, where we could watch the men at work. The menu was typical deli counter fare: the famed aforementioned tuna and egg salads, ruebens, matzoh ball soup, chopped liver, a few platters here and there. We went for a couple of old New York favorites (the pastrami and a burger), passing on the “Real New York egg creams” (advertised on a time-worn sign) for a pair of lime rickeys. Our order was taken by a waitress — who true to form, actually did address me as “sweetie” — and within minutes, the platters arrived:

Eisenberg’s burger

Eisenberg’s pastrami

My burger was very good, if a bit overdone – and unlike at a certain shack across the street, we were able to dig in within 15 minutes of arriving. When the accompanying fries arrive this hot and crisp, I’m a happy girl. SYB’s hot pastrami was piled high on rye; the meat itself was meltingly tender and salty, as good pastrami should be. The lime rickey – my first – went against expectation. Like a very sweet gin rickey without the gin, or a mojito without the rum and mint… and also… pink? (S later explained that the color was due to the addition of grenadine.)

Love it or hate it, Eisenberg’s is a New York City institution.

There are no comments just yet.

Go for it ...