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Nick Verano's Famous Deli

Just tried this new deli for lunch, and first impressions were favorable. I ordered the 'famous pastrami' (how could it be famous already??? They just opened!!), and it was very good. Nice quality pastrami, lean with a good pepper crust, very flavorful coleslaw, and not too much slaw as to make the bread soggy, thousand island dressing that I think was home made, as it was nice and smooth and didn't taste chemically served on some very fresh white rye bread.
The only downside was the price, as the sandwich came to $10.45 with tax, no chips, no drink. I did get a pickle, which was a perfectly fine specimin (I HATE bad pickles), but nothing extraordinary. I would recomend it to someone who had deep pockets, as it was a really tasty sandwich, just a bit out of my price range.

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  1. It's "famous" because you know Nick Varano is famous, or so he thinks.

    1. In case you're like me and had never heard of Famous Nick -

      http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaur...

      1. Good pastrami should be fatty, not lean.

        3 Replies
        1. re: StriperGuy

          ... and $10.45 is not expensive for a good, fatty pastrami sandwich. My theory on why good delis do not thrive in Boston is that Bostonians will not routinely pay $10 or more for a sandwich. At Katz's in NYC, a pastrami sandwich costs $15, and people line up for them.

          1. re: Blumie

            Hi Hounds, sorry to interrupt the chow talk, but we split off the Katz's Deli discussion to the Manhattan board. The thread is located at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/636624

            Please continue discussion of Katz's there. Many thanks for helping us keep the boards focused.

          2. re: StriperGuy

            hmm, guess I am not using the correct adjective.....you know when pastrami is tough, and sinewy (as opposed to nice and marbled)? That's what I meant by lean, not lean per se (and I can see where what I said originally did not make sense), but not grissley, an admittedly completely different qualifier. It was still too much money, despite what Katz's in New York does.

          3. I'm reserving judgment on Nick's Famous until I try it, but I consider Strega one of the more hideous, overpriced tourist traps in the North End. I was glad to read that BoMag profile, which reads like a heartwarming "second chance" story. Still, I wonder if there's another backstory that has been overlooked.

            More to the point: do they pronounce it, "Pashhtrami"?

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            5 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Thank God-I was waiting for a comment on the BoMag article! Never mind the serious discussion about Katz's!

                1. re: mtm7654

                  I suspect you're being facetious there, mtm7654. I don't write for BoMag anymore, have no vested interest in promoting it. My comment was sincere (in fact I was unaware of the article until it was pointed out here), and I thought relevant to the thread's original focus on Nick's Famous.

                  I haven't been to Katz's myself in several years, but feel free to contribute your own insights on it.

                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Definitely facetious. I was waiting for someone to comment on Nick actually. Sounds like he's got waaaaaaaaay more character than his food!

                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      Oh by all means reserve judgement......I would say the same even for me, as I only tried one sandwich on their first day open, NOT a very good barometer for how a place is going to be by any means....so it's sad (sort of? Never been to Strega but have read and heard about it, and am not clamoring to get there) I probably won't go back because the price WAS too high. I know some folks are saying that Katz's does sandwiches for $15 and more, I would imagine that you get your moneys worth or folks wouldn't be so gung ho about it. In the end with NVFD, I just didn't feel like I got $10.45 worth of sandwich. Even a bag of chips and a soda would have tipped the scales in Nick's favor though.

                2. I stopped in with my mom after work shortly after reading your post devilham. We both got the Italian tuna. Loved it! The bill was about $25 for the sandwiches, cokes, chips, tax etc. I have to agree, it's definitely a little pricey, but I ate half for lunch and then saved the other half for later.

                  There was only one table outside, and the place was pretty busy, so we took it to go. It's really beautiful inside, and I heard they hired Heavy Advertising (my bosses competitors!), to do all the branding/marketing. They did an amazing job.

                  But overall, a great experience. Hopefully next time I can sit down. And, can we get an Aerosmith sandwich?

                  I've never been to Katz. Sounds like I'll have to try it!

                  1. Made it over this week for a pastrami on light rye. I'll admit my expectations were low. I was very pleasantly surprised..get beyond the Stage deli shtick of naming sandwiches after famous people who've never set foot in the place and it's pretty good pastrami..right amount of fat, good flavor..friendly staff.

                    My standard in Boston for pastrami is Sam LaGrassa's and Nick's isn't quite there but very good..probably $1 or 2 too pricy for it's size but not grossly overpriced.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: 9lives

                      Had the eggplant on foccacia a few weeks back...it was okay, but for a sandwich and chips, it cost almost $13. A bit expensive for what you get. Good location though.

                      1. re: FeastNut2008

                        I just stopped by there today on the way back from Galleria Umberto, and a sign on the door advertised $8.95 sandwich, chips, and drink specials. One was chicken cutlet, can't remember the other. Didn't see much action in there at around 1 pm. I might try something there at that price.

                        1. re: nsenada

                          Some people says it's da best deli san'wich in town. And by some people, I mean Nick Verano. From Ssschtrega.

                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            "The veal chop is ta die for..."

                            But seriously, I fianally decided to give it a try a couple of weeks ago. Had the reuben and it was just ok - and for ten dollar sandwich just not worth it. there was nothing special about it and certainly not remotely close to Sam La Grassa status

                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              I was surprised there was no "Famous Gabbagool" sangwidge.

                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                incidentially, Shhtrega remains my worst dinning experience in Boston.

                                1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

                                  My experiences at Shtrega haven't been awful-awful, like La Dolce Vita awful, but they have been below mediocre given the price. The awfulness of the shtick and the decor and the overplucked eyebrows would be funnier if the place weren't so damned expensive.

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    I actually like the stuffed calamari at Dolce Vita.But thats about it.

                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                      I was at Strega two weeks ago and had the stuffed veal chop. Room temperature sides, small portion and a whopping $42.95! Not even a double cut chop. Overall it was a decent meal but definitely not worth the prices.

                                      I also noticed an almost 400% markup on the wine list which is very high.

                                      1. re: TomH

                                        Most North End clip joints feature that kind of markup on bottles of wine.

                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                          2. Finally ate there, because the line at Umberto's was not going to work for me today. Overall, it was a pretty good deal for $8.95. I had the Italian sandwich special, which came with chips and a soda. The cold cuts were fresh off the deli slicer, including mortadella, soppressata and capicola, and it had tomato, roasted peppers, provolone, and oil and vinegar. I wasn't a big fan of the ciabatta roll, it was too tough and chewy, a standard sub or braided roll would have made it easier to eat. Adding to the challenge, they piled the contents of the sandwich up on the center of the roll, right on the "hinge," and I had to shove it all in manually in order to put it in proper form for consumption.

                            A pretty good deal all in all, at least for the special, but not going to bump off Umberto as my primary NE lunch destination.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: nsenada

                              For $9 you can easily get a huge sub, bag of chips, and soda at Pace's.

                              1. re: phatchris

                                Yes, but these subs are "famous."

                                You're right on that, I'd say they definitely sub-Pace (so to speak). The bread and construction alone give the edge to Pace, but I'd say the meats are on par. If the special was pastrami, though, I'd consider going to Varano's.

                                1. re: nsenada

                                  went to a place on the ass end of salem street next to bova that made great sandwich maybe same owners as monicas that made great italian sandwich a little slow but cut colds cut right.

                                  1. re: OLDCHEF

                                    That must be Monica's Mercato; good to know that's a worthwhile sandwich stop.

                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                      Monica's also has a good cheese/cold cut selection, bought a nice robbiola rosso recently, prepared foods and fresh pasta that they make in their restaurant. Nice store.

                            2. Is the craps table in there yet?

                              1. Lean pastrami is an abomination. yech

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: tamerlanenj

                                  That's mainly the way I feel, but the Speed's grilled pastrami renders rather a lot of fat off of some reasonably fatty pastrami, and it's still really tasty. Not canonical, however, and when it comes to delicatessen, I tend to hew to the canon.

                                  There's a big hole to fill in the Boson restaurant market: quality Ashkenazi deli, maybe with table service, some decent beers, cocktails perhaps? One can dream.

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    Dude, don't even go there. Good deli, with beer, in Boston...

                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                      For those that haven't tried a Speed's pastrami, here's what to expect..

                                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/61246842...

                                      It's not a bad sandwich, but Nicks was closer to what I think of as a traditional Jewish deli sandwich; only thinner..:)

                                        1. re: 9lives

                                          Well I'm not a pastrami fan but darn, if that image of the Speed dog did not send my salivary gland into crazed Pavlov mode ...

                                      1. re: tamerlanenj

                                        LaGrassa's pastrami is relatively lean and it is the best in town.

                                        1. re: tamerlanenj

                                          If you look a little past my original post, I clarify the lean bit, not quite the adjective I wanted. I was more referring to not grissley (as some pastramis are a mess of fat and grissle) as opposed to no fat.

                                        2. Someone appears to be impersonating him, and trying to co-opt his takeout business - the dimensions just don't work.

                                           
                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: nsenada

                                            I've been to Varano's several times now... Sausage/broccoli rabe was very good, better than IP Express. Have also had the Italian tuna, tasty, but drenched in olive oil, the Calabrese, and the veal/broccoli rabe. Everything has always been flavorful and large. The place has been a great replacement for Hot Tomatoes, esp w/ the late night delivery.

                                            Monica's makes the best Italian in the city hands down... Varano's will not compare and I don't think they're trying. Monica's sandwiches around $13-15, but worth every penny. Where are people getting sandwiches for less than 10 bucks in the north end. Pace is not open at night and doesn't deliver. Dino's is better for cheese steaks and chicken parm.

                                            -----
                                            Hot Tomatoes
                                            261 North St, Boston, MA 02113

                                            1. re: Beachowolfe

                                              Bova's has a decent Italian.

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                                              Bova's
                                              134 Salem St, Boston, MA

                                              1. re: phatchris

                                                This is true, though I'm going off only one experience... They stop doing coldcuts/sandwiches kind of early though, right?

                                                I know there's nothing at 2:30 which is my normal Bova's appointment.

                                                -----
                                                Bova's
                                                134 Salem St, Boston, MA

                                                1. re: Beachowolfe

                                                  They have some weird rule at Bova's that they can only serve dessert like food after midnight. No pizza or calzones but weird croissant things are ok.

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                                                  Bova's
                                                  134 Salem St, Boston, MA

                                                  1. re: Beachowolfe

                                                    There is also the cheese shop on Fleet St, great Italians and I'm pretty sure they are making them at Frankie D's pasta shop on Cross St as well.

                                                    1. re: phatchris

                                                      Are the ones at the new fresh cheese comparable to Monica's? I don't think Frankie D's has sandwiches... could be wrong. Are you pretty sure as in you've had one from there?

                                                      anyway- are these sandwiches under ten bucks, or are you just listing places that serve them?

                                                      1. re: Beachowolfe

                                                        Haven't had them at the new Fresh Cheese but assume they are the same from the old Fresh Cheese which were great and huge $8. I've noticed a blackboard sign with I believe two types of sandwiches at Frankie D's.I have'nt has an Italian at Monica as I could get two for $13-$15 at Pace and feel that all of "Monica's" places have a bit of tude.

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                                                        Fresh Cheese
                                                        81 Endicott St, Boston, MA 02113