Champs Redux: The Triple Decker Sandwiches

Downtown Lunch: Champs

Back before us Downtowners hit it big and got our own Midtown Lunch website, we used to crave Fridays when that little corner Zach’s masterpiece would open up the boundaries a little bit and Daniel Krieger would give us the scoop on Midtown Lunches Downtown. One those posts I remember the most is Daniel’s trip to Champs Deli because I used to swing by that spot for anything from an everything bagel with scallion cream cheese to a cheeseburger deluxe.  For those of you with especially good memories, you may remember the image above as the one that opened Daniel’s Champs post. Well, consider this a sequel of said post, a bit of an homage to Daniel with the work he did, and an expansion on the glory that is Champs Deli.

With the nasty, nasty weather that struck at the end of last week, it was high time I flexed my pointer finger, dialed the number, and saw how Champs is at delivering.  And the results? Pretty damn good.  My coworker and I had both ordered from the Triple Decker Sandwiches portion of the menu, a title that immediately drew my attention for obvious reasons.  My coworker decided on the Turkey Club sandwich while I put my bet on the Pastrami, Corned Beef, & Swiss sandwich with Russian dressing and coleslaw, both clocking in at $7.25.
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The turkey on this bad boy was surprisingly moist and the bacon added a nice salty crunch to bring it together. I only had a couple bites, but it was fun to pretend that I was eating BLT and turkey sandwiches stacked on top of each other.  Gave me a little taste of what it’s like to be Dagwood.
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As you can see, both came with a pickle, but not a whole bunch else.  The burgers and hot platters both come with fries.
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My sandwich was a sight to behold.  I’m a sucker for pastrami and corned beef and to have them both tucked together in the same triple decker sandwich made my heart skip a beat.  Neither meats could stand up against Katz’s, but when you’re not in a position to leave the Financial District for lunch, it doesn’t get much better.
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I had two beefs (har-dee-har) with the sandwich though.  It seemed like it was trying awful hard to be a Reuben sandwich, but just couldn’t quite make it. First, it didn’t come on rye bread, which I’m willing to take the blame for, as it doesn’t advertise as such and I didn’t request it. But c’mon! Pastrami and Russian dressing are screaming for rye bread! And second, in the same vein, the coleslaw on the sandwich was a slightly disappointing replacement for sauerkraut.  Those two changes would make this sandwich a force to be reckoned with.
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Even with the delivery, the toast that forms the three decks of the sandwich held up pretty well on both of our sandwiches.  Not only were they tasty, they were fun to eat. I think I’m gonna start making multiple layers on my sandwiches at home.  But if you’re not into the idea of trying to get your chompers around one of these, there are a ton of other selections to choose from.  If you’re feeling like a sandwich today, check ‘em out. They ain’t called Champs for nothin’.

Champs Gourmet Deli, 71 Broadway (at Rector), (212)363-2100; 30 Broad St. (at Exchange Pl.), (212) 363-1400


1 Comment

  • Anyone from northern NJ can tell you, thats not trying to be a Reuben, thats a wannabe NJ sloppy joe. And no, i’m not referring to the taco meat on a bun.

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