Murray’s Sandwich Challenge: Take 3


And we have another entry in the Grand Central Terminal Market sandwich challenge.  To recap: can you make an under $10 Midtown Lunch’ish sandwich, or sandwiches, from ingredients purchased from the newly opened Murray’s Salami (and the other shops in the Grand Central Terminal market.)  Blondie and Brownie weighed in first, followed by Lunch’er Dave, and now… Max.

2 of my compatriots and I ventured in the semi-brutal cold to Grand Central Market to try the Murray’s challenge. (We went a little crazy, also picking up 3 pieces of very nice seasonal Murray’s pumpkin cheese cake for dessert, but I am excluding that splurge from the challenge.) We gorged ourselves on speck, mozz, and salami, had a photo shoot and assembly party back @ the office. I think our per capita expenditure will definitely be lower next go round (oh yes!), but this was gooddamn delicious!!

Last week there was a complaint about not being about to get a sense of scale from the photo… so after the jump is a list of ingredients, plus a photo that gives you better perspective of the sandwich size.

1/4 pound of Smoked Speck from Alto Adige, Italia + 1/4 pound of Finocchiona, Tuscan Fennel Salami, $9.50
2 Ripe Tomatoes, $1.60
1 box of fresh basil, $2.99
1 large ciabbata loaf trisected, $3.50
1 large ball of lightly salted mozzerella $7.99

TOTAL (with tax) — $27.70; $9.25 per capita


There was also a little question as to why we would even bother with a place like this.  I will admit there are plenty of places where you could make a cold cut sandwich for yourself and spend much less than $10 per person.  But there are two reasons why this is worthwhile…

1) It’s fun.  For anybody who loves food, the Grand Central Terminal market is a pretty sweet place to walk through.  The cheap guy in me cringes at most of the prices, but the fat guy in me finds it hard to stop drooling.  (I have the same reaction at the Dean & Deluca in Soho.)  If we could get a filling lunch out of that place for under $10, why not try?  Your average Boar’s Head deli can’t compare…

2)  Which brings us to point #2.  I like meat. I like dried, cured meat.  Salumi is freaking good… and while sometimes I am the cheapest bastard imaginable, I can appreciate the finer things in life every once in awhile.  So, if we can get a lunch made of splurge worthy items (like high quality speck) and keep it just under $10, that’s more exciting to me then making my own sandwich from ingredients purchased at Food Emporium… even if it’s 1/4 the price.

This isn’t rocket science… just a fat guy who likes to look at sandwich porn, having a little fun.

Photos by Mozar Photography


  • Finally someone put some tomato & basil on their sandwich.

  • I think Zach may have some body image issues. He doesn’t appear “fat” per se, from the pictures of him at the Todai Luncheon. Maybe you’ve been in Manhattan for too long and forgot what obese really looks like. I think he’s chubby, at best.

  • The $10 challenge gets infinitely easier the more people you have with you. I think its important to distinguish between the people who complete it solo vs. what can be accomplished when resources are pooled.

  • Thanks for the post, Zach! The moment I saw this challenge Basil and Tomato were in my plan.

    I think next time, I will be looking at a couple of pieces of roasted artichoke with oil to add to sandwich!!

  • Good food is best shared with friends.

  • @Spam – You are completely right… in fact, I don’t think doing it solo was ever considered by anyone

  • Solo is doable, you just end up with fewer items and funny proportions. I was happy enough with my baguette, 1/4lb meat and 1/3lb cheese.

  • Pickled hot peppers!

  • I’ve been considering it… solo is my game :) but alas, too far. I’d have to do it on a weekend, lol.
    @eater – I’ve actually met Zach twice now and while I agree he is not a “fat” man by my standards, I think it’s more fun for him to call himself a fat man and people like to get food advice from “fat” people. What’s the saying: never trust a skinny chef? Kind of like that. You know Kelly Choi on Eat NY or whatever? I’ve watched her show once or twice (and seen her in person) and she is way too skinny plus she doesn’t eat on the show, so I don’t trust a word she says. (Plus she’s annoying and asks chefs questions but then interrupts them and doesn’t let them finish talking.)

  • Damn. My desire to start eating meat again, gets stronger by the day.

  • what’s w/ the lack of condiments on all these sandwiches? they all look dry and not so yum. i’d rather eat some meat n cheese rolled up.

  • The thing is, the freshness of the bread, the cheese and the fattiness of meat negates much of the need for condiments.

    I did think that the basil and tomato added to the equation.

  • Yeah I hear ya max, but I’d really like a little tang with my meat and cheese, at least a drizzle of balsamic with olive oil, or like others have said, maybe some sort a pepper or artichoke in oil.

  • Oh Yaaaaa, booooy! The BFT is back. Mama-C, you know you missed me, baby, I don’t blame ya. It’s gonna be 78 degrees here today in PB, SD kids so I can’t stay long but goodness grac, great ball of fire I’m in top form today as usual, as always. Tell ya what I miss about the NYC – a great ruban sandwich, can’t f’n get them out here. Beer w/lime, we got it, slutty blonde chix, sure, melanoma, muy bien…but a good ruban – not a chance. Well, off to surf, baby, peace out, hippies. Who’s go the perfect gret’s for a ruban?

  • And everyone should hit up the olive oil store right outside the market and steal a free glug of olive oil for your sandwich. Pork fat plus “good” fat makes ESNY a happy guy.

  • 1) I did go solo, then Brownie tagged along.
    2) in our defense, it was 2 sandwiches, 2 girls, and 2 fivers, hence $5 sandwiches (Beat that!!)
    3) I did attempt solo last week and it doesn’t work out. Since you have to buy minimum 1/4 pounds of anything at Murray’s, you can’t get more than bread, cheese, meat, unless you did bread, 2 meats or 2 cheeses, or just went all Atkins and did no bread.

  • Great looking sandwich well done.

  • @ Ben: Then eat it.
    I agree with Mamacita. I still feel the lack of condiment on these sandwich challenges. Love the addition of basil, though.

  • Butter…lotsa butter.

  • Butter is only necessary if you’re ingesting that sandwich WITH YOUR ARSE!

    Some nice Andalusian olive oil on the other hand…

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.