Homefront is Not Your Average Midtown Deli

Midtown is too much ground for one man to cover, so comments, suggestions and emails are always welcome.  Most “discoveries” I make come from suggestions, and the comments are always a great place to see where other people are eating.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.  When I was having chest pains last week, I attributed it to my “work” here on Midtown Lunch and decided to take a salad suggestion from a commenter, only to find another lame, generic deli, not worth the walk out of my way.  The next day the doctor told me there was nothing wrong with my heart, and that I probably only had the death plague that’s been circulating around New York City (she didn’t use those words exactly…)  Thankfully, I didn’t have to try out any more salad suggestions.

Yesterday it worked out a little better when I checked out the Homefront Deli on 41st btw. Park+Madison, which was mentioned awhile back as a good place for a hot pastrami sandwich.  Expecting a soup, sandwich and salad bar deli, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a hole in the wall sandwich place, with more similarities to Milant then Metro Cafe.

My recommended pastrami and swiss, after the jump…

The place is pretty tiny, and gets crowded fairly easily so it helps to know exactly what’s going on.  If you want cold sandwiches, get on the left hand line, a difficult thing to find the end of.  If you’re looking for hot sandwiches, try to weasel your way through the crowd to the back right where you order.   

Based on the recommendation, I went with the hot pastrami with swiss, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye bread, listed on the board as a Reuben, meaning they take the whole thing and grill it to melt the cheese and get you that nice toastiness on the bread.  The cool thing about the Homefront Deli is they serve up what looks like real hot pastrami and corned beef, not the cold cuts junk you find at most Midtown delis.  The pastrami was not the greatest quality in the world, but for $5.40 it’s tough to complain.

The Reuben is actually one of their most expensive sandwiches (since it’s got all that extra goodness), so if you just want a regular hot pastrami or hot corned beef, it’s only going to cost you $4.95.  A bacon cheeseburger is $3.95.  Who cares about quality when prices are this cheap?  A grilled cheese is anywhere from $2.60 to $3.45 (depending on how much meat you want piled on top of it). And fries are $2, meaning you can get a pretty substantial hot lunch for under $7, in most cases.  If you are celebrating lent, they’ve got seafood options on Fridays.

Not quite good enough to be called a great pastrami sandwich, but hot enough, big enough, and cheap enough to be considered a great Midtown Lunch.  Keep the suggestions coming…

THE +

  • Super cheap 
  • Not your typical, generic Midtown deli
  • Hot sandwiches appear to be made from real meat (as opposed to cold cuts pastrami and corned beef)
  • Did I mention it’s pretty cheap?

THE -

  • Can get pretty crowded in there
  • Only a few stools on the right for people to sit at, so it’s mostly just to go
  • The pastrami is a pretty low quality (i.e. you get what you pay for)

Homefront Deli, 41 E. 41st St. (btw. Mad+Park), (212) 682-0838

10 Comments

  • I know its taboo but any decent Vegetarian Options there.. like at Milant ?

  • Lettuce.

  • The Greek Salad with grilled chicken is fantastic at home front — full breasts of hot grilled chicken piled onto a feta covered greens…and for $6.50 – can’t be beat

    Cash only here so be ready

  • I love their chicken sandwich platter — ask for hot sauce and it’s heavenly. Best part (if I recall correctly) is that it comes in under $5!

  • Zach, Glad you finally made it HomeFront, except now, it’ll be en MORE crowded!

    Their “Roman” sandwich is killer too. Basically it’s an Italian hero with the works including hot peppers. The thing is SO big you will for sure be filled up, and it’s like $5.95!

  • yay for homefront! i never used to go there too often for lunch, but their breakfast sandwiches are amazing. and it’s a very neat “system” the line cook has there. worth checking out.

  • Seconding the breakfast ‘system’

    Amazingly, the counter man here (Jimmy I think) knows about 40% of the breakfast crowd by name and order.

    After I ordered the same thing about 3 times he started to know me, so I had to start changing my order….

  • This is why I love this blog. Just when I think I’ve covered all the ground Midtown has to offer, Zach drops a new pearl of wisdom.

    Never heard of this place before – ran over there for a late lunch. Got the grilled chicken hero with grilled onions, provolone and sport peppers. Most midtown delis don’t have sport peppers so it’s nice to have that option – good lookin out “Zap.” Also got onion rings.

    The sandwich is huge with two large chicken breasts. I’m so stuffed I feel like I ate a whale that had just eaten a smaller whale (this is a GOOD thing). Also, their onion rings tasted exactly like Burger King onion rings, which I thing is a plus, but others can disagree.

    All in all, a huge amount of food for a very fair price. “I’ll be back.”

  • i love homefront – i’ve been going there for 3 years now – both Jimmy and the lady w/ the baseball cap are amazing – they have incredible memories. the food is fresh and hot and cheap. i’m gonna miss the place when my office moves.
    fridays – they have a fish special – fried fish, scallops and shrimp w/ fries – it gets a bit crazy around lent.

  • I love this place. The sliced steak sandwich is amazing. The fried chicken is a pretty good deal too.

    I’ve been eating semi-healthy lately and the greek salad with grilled chicken is a good deal and massively popular.

    My favorite is the Roman though.

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