Good Nature Deli Offers Hot Pork on Pork Action

Good Nature Deli looks so generic on the outside that most people probably don’t even notice it when they walk by. I went in randomly one day when I needed to grab a soda and I was extremely surprised at what I found. It may look like just your average corner bodega, and it’s one avenue out of bounds.  But Good Nature Deli has some surprises within…

The first thing that strikes you when you walk in is the sprawling by-the-pound buffet. This thing is massive considering what the place looks like from the outside, and it contains everything from vegetable lo mein to meatloaf, fried plantains to eggplant parm. The only sign indicating its existence from the street is a small sign on the door that says ‘salad bar’, but this is clearly so much more. And at $6.99/lb, it’s a steal compared to other midtown buffets.

However, I already had my heart set on a sandwich, so I wandered over to the deli counter and perused the massive list of hot and cold creations. There are over 60 different sandwiches, so be prepared for some deliberation.

I settled on the California Hero, containing grilled chicken, provolone cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, and hot sauce. This sandwich was pretty large, the cheese was nice and melty ,and the bacon was thick and crispy. I didn’t notice any hot sauce, so they either forgot it or it wasn’t very flavorful, but the sandwich was plenty tasty without it. The chicken was a tad dry, but the creaminess of the avocado offset that for the most part. It came with two thin pickle spears and tortilla chips (although I swear in the past I’ve gotten potato chips, so maybe they switch it up). All in all, a solid sandwich and meal in itself.

The next time I went in, I was fully prepared to brave the buffet. I was suspicious at first seeing as there doesn’t appear to be an actual kitchen anywhere in the vicinity, so the origin of all of this food was a mystery (I asked someone later and was informed that they do indeed have a kitchen in the basement). However, I made the mistake of glancing up at the sandwich board and getting completely sidetracked by the Texas Hero, comprised of pork ribs, bacon, american cheese, onion, pickles, hot peppers, and BBQ sauce. Ribs AND bacon? I knew immediately that I could not deny myself (or you, dear readers) some of that hot pork-on-pork action, so all thoughts of the buffet went out the window.

This sandwich, like the first, was a pretty hefty size and served with the same accompaniments as my previous order. The cheese was melted, and this time all of the flavors were there, although the bacon was a little soggy from the BBQ sauce. I was also disappointed to find that the ‘pork ribs’ seemed to in fact be ‘rib flavored mystery meat patty’. It was definitely a tasty sandwich, but because of this, I probably would not order this again. But I will say that the novelty of it made it a fun and filling one-time lunch.

Next time I’m here I fully intend to try the buffet, daunting as it may be. If you’ve tried it, let me know!

The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I could eat a different sandwich every single day for MONTHS!
  • Where else can I have a side of fried plantains with my eggplant parm?
  • I like pork. Preferably on top of more pork.

The – (What someone who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Sometimes the sandwich descriptions are misleading. I like to know exactly what I’m getting.
  • Sketchy by-the-pound buffets frighten me.
  • Too many options make my head spin. I like to keep it simple.

Good Nature Inc., 1045 2nd Ave (At E. 55th St), (212) 371-7507


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