As a native New Yorker, Giacomo’s is a place that I should instantly love. It has the mile-high pastrami sandwich New York is famous for, bagels from H&H, and Dr. Brown’s soda! Nowhere besides Liquor Barn has Dr. Brown’s soda in Lexington! Surely this little deli would bring me back to my days on Long Island - memories of me taking the train to Manhattan, walking around and eating some of the best food in the world.
Don’t get me wrong – the first time I went to Giacomo’s I really enjoyed my meal. Who wouldn’t enjoy a Black Cherry Dr. Brown’s soda, a hot pastrami sandwich with spicy mustard on rye and a bag of chips? I didn’t even mind paying New York prices for the sandwich ($9, but it’s a lot of food). Yet every subsequent time I’ve gone it’s gotten progressively worse and worse.
The restaurant is small, but it’s not a big deal since they’re rarely busy. Good luck finding a time that it’s open: as someone who doesn’t live or work downtown, it’s a pain to get to plus it’s only open until 3pm. The staff is friendly and the service is quick. They also offer online ordering, in case it’s lunch time and they happen to be busy.
Giacomo’s has a wide selection of sandwiches, made with both local produce and cuts from New York’s Carnegie Deli. Since it’s from Carnegie, their top sandwiches are the Pastrami and Corned Beef on either rye, french roll or ciabatta. From there you can get a “Giacomo” (Prosciutto, mortadella, sopresatta, mozzarella, mayo, lettuce, tomato & onion), “The Big Sandy” (Corned beef, beef brisket, cole slaw on rye) or “The Sailor” (Knockwurst, pastrami, sauerkraut on french roll with spicy mustard).
As I stated earlier, my first meal at Giacomo’s was the stuffed pastrami sandwich. I absolutely loved it! You don’t realize how much you miss a simple sandwich until you move away and it’s no longer available. My plan from that point on was to make Giacomo’s a weekly visit.
My second time around my experience was good, but not great. I had the corned beef on french roll, and while it was good, I didn’t think it was worth nine bucks.
This last time I ordered the “Giacomo”. The sandwich was gigantic, but it was flawed.
First off, I think they screwed up a part of the sandwich. When they cut the sandwich in half, everything was cut down the middle, except the lettuce, which wasn’t cut at all. Naturally this is the part of the sandwich that had the mayo on one side, so I couldn’t just take it out and tear it myself. I tried picking the sandwich up as a whole, but the contents spilled out everywhere. I’m sure this rarely happens, but it was just a huge annoyance.
Second, the sandwich didn’t actually taste like anything. How can a sandwich this big have the taste of a wet sponge? Very disappointing. After eating this I don’t want to visit Giacomos again.
Kat ordered the “Grilled 4 Cheese Pannini”: Mozzarella, provolone, ricotta, munster and red pepper on a grilled pannini. She didn’t care for it, and neither did I. It was alright, but there wasn’t much flavor and it was $8. So a meal that was barely worth our time cost $17 before drinks and tax. Maybe that’s why the place is rarely busy.
I want to like Giacomo’s Deli, I really do. If every meal was like my first, I would like Giacomos. Maybe I should have just stuck to the pastrami sandwich. Unfortunately, the sandwiches are not on par with the prices. However, I must admit that I will try more of the menu later on, because I really want this place to work. It’s just too promising.
Giacomo’s also offers their cold cuts for purchasing by the pound, so if you thing you can make a better sandwich, bring home a pound. If Giacomo’s doesn’t improve, that’s probably what I’ll do. Hey, a man needs his sandwiches.