Flatiron Lunch: Jezalin’s in the Limelight makes a fine sandwich
Every Friday our man UltraClay goes south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.
The Limelight’s new incarnation of shopping destination and snacker’s paradise hasn’t quite worked out as well as I’d hoped. Grimaldi’s finally showed up, but the promise of pizza by the slice never materialized; the Limelight Grill, which served sausages, sandwiches and burgers made for a nice outdoor lunch at a decent price, but has since been replaced by Todd English’s Crossbar. Even most of the sweets stands that were inside have shut down. Still, I was in the neighborhood after dropping off film from my South America trip and decided to wander through to see what’s new inside. What I discovered was that Jezalin’s, the little gourmet deli inside is offering some lunchworthy options that either weren’t there before or I just never noticed.
Looking at the sandwich menu, I almost walked away. It’s full of interesting looking options that nearly all cost more than $10.
It might be worth it on these full sized baguettes, but it’s still a little rich for my blood.
Then I noticed these smaller sandwiches on display on the counter. All at $7.99, they have some of the same combinations (see the Big Ham vs Little Ham), but scaled down. I was intrigued.
On my first visit, I had the Roast Beef Americano, topped with American cheese, mixed greens, tomatoes and my choice of dressing or condiment. At the suggestion of the lady behind the counter, I had it with horseradish and a bit of mayo.
Also at her suggestion, I had them warm it up for me on the press. I generally prefer hot sandwiches to cold, so I appreciate the option. I hadn’t expected it to be quite so flattened though. Regardless, the bread was remarkable. Crusty and chewy and pretty much just right.
While I was happy to have the beef warmed and the cheese melty, there is the very minor gripe that the greens did wilt a bit under the heat. It’s not a huge sandwich, but I was surprisingly filled up by it when I was finished.
As a backup, I had eyed a few of these sides that are available as well. Potato salads, lentils, macaroni salad and more are sold for around $5 each.
I enjoyed the sandwich enough that the next time I was in the area, I decided to return to try out another sandwich. This time it was the Taste of Milan, filled with salami, provalone and spicy pickled peppers. I asked for it with a little oil and vinegar, which added some more tang to the peppers and a silky texture to the overall experience.
Again, they pressed the sandwich to warm it up, but this time I asked them to do it a bit lighter than before. The bread kept more of its shape and there was more chewy bread to enjoy.
Salads aren’t really my thing, but there’s also a salad bar at Jezalin’s that allows you to design your own salad.
I don’t often go to gourmet delis and in the end that’s what Jezalin’s is. The food was good, if pricier that I’m usually looking for, but you probably aren’t going to get a better sandwich for less. If I want an overstuffed hero or cheesesteak, this is not the place I would go. Still, I am in the neighborhood a lot and occasionally might want a sandwich with good quality ingredients that’s filling but not bursting. For that, I’d definitely return to Jezalin’s.
The +: (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- -I like gourmet delis
- I like good quality ingredients
- I don’t need a huge sandwich
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I prefer sandwiches that have to be measured by the foot.
- I also want it to cost $5 and come with a snappy jingle.
Jezalin’s in the Limelight Marketplace, 656 6th Avenue at 20th St.