Certe’s Thanksgiving Dip is the Greatest Sandwich Ever Created

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Ok, well maybe that is a bit of an overstatement… but between this, the duck sandwich at FreeFoods, and the Mexican Cheesesteak from the El Rey del Sabor cart- this Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge thing is turning out to be the best thing I’ve ever done for… well… for myself.  Seriously.  I can’t believe how well this is going, and after trying Certe’s “Thanksgiving Dip” (on 55th btw. 5+6th), I am ready to declare this challenge thing a complete success- even if not another sandwich gets made.

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Unlike a standard “french dip”, where the bread is thick and can sop up the gravy, this “dip” is more like a burrito, with a thin tortilla shell. Strange, but it totally works. It’s $8.95, but a total gut bomb- and completely worth the money. Guaranteed you will not leave hungry. Mashed potatoes is the first layer to go down in this thing, and gets topped with thick chunks of turkey. On top of that goes a cornbread stuffing and a tiny bit of cranberry chutney. The whole things gets rolled, and grilled, and comes with a cup of gravy for dippin’. (You didn’t think that was coffee did you?)

Sorry the the close-up couldn’t be more “food porn’ish”, but my camera ran out of batteries- so I had to take this one with my phone. But you can get the idea.

The Thanksgiving kitchen sink sandwich is nothing new, but there is something about this one that really goes above and beyond the sum of its parts. The mashed potatoes could have made the thing too heavy (and for some people they might) but for me it was just right (and this is coming from someone who finds mashed potatoes to be the least exciting kind of potato you can get… I know- it’s shocking but true.) You could taste the perfect amount of salt and pepper and seasonings, and that tiny bit of sweetness from the cranberry chutney added the “mmmm, that is so good” moment of every bite. Of course the cup of gravy didn’t hurt either. I could go back and eat another one of these today.

One final thing… I have always found Certe to be a mildly intriguing version of the standard Midtown deli. Not only does their food look good, but they do a lot of interesting things… enough to have gotten me to consider eating there (although I never got around to it until now.) But the thing that puts the place over the top is how nice everybody is. I’ve never seen anything like it in all of Midtown. They know all their regular customers, and it is a total party in there at lunch time… so much so, you forget about how incredibly cramped it is to order and pay for your food. I had the other member of the Midtown Lunch Buffet Team with me, and they were totally cool about it- even though we were taking up a ton of room. They even offered us a free brownie. (Oh, maybe that’s why I liked the place so much.) And they didn’t know I was from Midtown Lunch. I just came in and ordered the sandwich just like any regular customer… they are literally that nice to everybody. The one negative… they don’t have seating unless you order from a waiter, but the Sony Atrium is just one Ave. away, and the perfect place to eat when it’s cold out (on 55th btw. 5th+Madison).

Oh, and one more thing. They have free brownie samples at the front (I had 2), but anybody can actually get a free brownie just by signing up for their mailing list. (The cards are also in the front.) This could be the greatest place of all time. I will definitely be back, and not just for the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Special.

Certe, 20 W 55th St. (btw. 5+6th), New York, NY 10019,    212-397-2020

41 Comments

  • Zach, changing the face of Midtown Lunches forever!

  • This is great. Certe is like 2 blocks from me. I typically don’t go further than Ernest Klein (unless it’s to 53rd for streetmeat).

  • Am I the only one who thinks there may be a conflict of interest here? Zach has given all of the ML specials top reviews. In return he gets publicity at the point of sale. Just sayin’.

  • @Kenny – Dude, you think I’m going to risk alienating my readers to say that a suck ass sandwich is awesome? All for a little sign inside FreeFoods that barely promotes the site? I’m pretty sure commenters will keep me honest…

    It’s not my fault two of the first three sandwiches were out of control good!

  • It’s not Zach’s fault all these pimpalicious sandwiches turned him out. We all knew he was a food whore ;-)

  • Zach….two of three? All of the sandwiches have turned out good, if I have read your reviews of them correctly…..which one is the one that was not “out of control good”?

  • @Fred- They have all been good, but my write up of the Mexican Philly Cheesesteak wasn’t over the top praise… I said the bread could be a little better, and it probably doesn’t need L&T. And rather than saying it was the greatest sandwich of all time, I let people know that if the idea of a spicy cheesesteak sounded good to them, they would love this particular sandwich. (Rather than saying ‘every single person should go and eat this’.)

  • It’s real and it’s spectacular!

    Thanks to Zach, who did the legwork in contacting Certe and put them in contact with me, I went back today (early) and got a free sandwich. The guys who worked there couldn’t have been nicer and were very apologetic about running out yesterday. As stated above, they use fresh turkey and weren’t planned for the Midtown Lunchers who showed up in droves yesterday. They assured me that they’ll be prepared from now on, so get over there and try it!

    The sandwich was awesome and I would have gladly paid $8.95 for it. I’ve had other Thanksgiving sandwiches before and this trumps them all. The only problem was that I got so into the gravy dipping that the sandwich started to fall apart. I gave up and just poured some gravy on it and went at it with a fork. Good thing my officemate stepped out because it wasn’t pretty.

    I don’t think it was such a gutbomb, but I hadn’t eaten anything this morning to prepare. I do plan on returning and reordering this samich. Now I’m just mad that I don’t work closer to Certe.

  • Went and tried this today, taste was good, definitely filling but by the time I got back to my office 56/lex the wrap was a little soggy. Turkey was moist, I would recommend it to anyone in the area.

  • I’m on vacation this week, and suddenly, Korean chicken news, and yummy inventive sandwiches are rolling out in Midtown. I can’t believe I”m saying this…but I wish I’m eating in Midtown right now.

  • I tried this yesterday. The sandwich was great–nice combo of flavors and textures. The service was spectacular too; I almost forgot that I was in New York City. I wasn’t crazy about the red cabbage slaw included, but others might feel differently. I’m still glad they gave it to me though as it adds to the overall value. (No, this is not a shill)

  • Granted, the staff was very friendly. I signed up for my free brownie and everything. However, the sandwich is a total gut bomb. I thought it was, in turn, pretty good and totally disgusting. I still haven’t recovered and I finished it over an hour ago. uggh! I feel like Homer Simpson after an eating binge!

  • This sandwich is amazing.

    I almost wanted to cry when I got it. Somehow I missed the stuffing part — an all time fav carb in the realm of carbs! I guess after I read ‘mashed potato,’ my brain just shut down.

    Zach, thank you for starting a sandwich contest – eliciting some creative sandwich ideas, which I will most definitely benefit from…

  • I finally tried this today and I was disappointed.

    1. It seemed more like a stuffing sandwich with some turkey thrown in.

    2. They microwave it to heat it, and it got quite soggy. I don’t know if the plastic wrapper on it has anything to do with that. My office is at 6th and 51, so some time did pass between purchase and consumption.

    Overall it was just real mushy and I didn’t even taste much turkey. And I LOVE turkey.

    I’ve been looking forward to this for days and it was a real letdown.

    OTOH, the beef barley soup was excellent, and so was the brownie sample I tried.

  • I tried the Turkey Day sandwich today — it is the real deal. The soups and nut-topped brownie were also very good, and the staff was friendly.

  • I’m working late and just ordered dinner from Certe via Seamless Web. Unfortunately the Midtown Lunch Challenge sandwich is not on there, but I did get a yummy chicken saltimbocca panini. I wonder if they could add the special? Otherwise I guess I’ll have to head over there for lunch on Friday.

  • I don’t get why they’re getting rid of this. It’s a gutbomb for $9, and while I was online (going there at 12:30 is hellish), there 4 groups of people ordered them, and one walked away with an order of 6 of them.

  • Also, don’t get one of these *and* a soup. Theres no way I’m about to touch the soup after eating this.

  • THEY WILL HAVE IT ON THEIR WEEKLY SPECIAL MENU EVERY THURSDAY

  • I tried the dip and I thought the stuffing was to sweet and didnt compliment the rest of the sandwich to well.

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