La Monica's Salumeria, Croton: How did I miss this place?
Yesterday, when I suggested to my son that we pick up sandwiches on the way to the train station, he said, "How about La Monica's?" Blank look from me. "You know, the old Harmon Deli?" Um, sure, a place I'd set foot in, in its old incarnation, maybe twice in the almost 30 years I've lived in Croton. 358 S Riverside Avenue, otherwise known as 9A, around the corner from the train station.
The sandwich I got yesterday may be the most delicious sandwich I've ever eaten. Certainly the best one in months, since I do love the sandwiches at MELT in White Plains, at Cole's Market in Montrose, and the muffaletta at Central Grocery in New Orleans.
Faced with a board listing dozens of sandwiches and salads that all looked great, a man waiting for his sandwich took pity on me and recommended his favorite sandwich. He's my new best friend. I got the Marilena with eggplant added: grilled chicken (not breaded!), fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, grilled eggplant (not breaded!), with some sort of vinegar & garlic, then on a great Italian roll--a panini roll similar to a Portuguese roll--in the panini press. I had half of it for lunch, the other half for dinner, and actually that's all I ate yesterday.
The only problem I'm going to have is that I should check out the other things they make.
This place gets busy, with lots of people ordering ahead. It's not an interminable wait, but don't go at lunch time if you're in a hurry. Ordering online or on the phone is probably a good idea, but at least the first time you go you'll want to see the various offerings including specials.
La Monica also does catering, just ask for the catering menu. The prices may be a bit out of date on that menu, but they have a website http://www.lamonicasdeli.com
Also, according to Liz Johnson, you can order online: http://food.lohudblogs.com/2011/08/11...
Oh, they do have a few tables, but I don't think I'd count on eating there right at lunchtime because of people waiting. Could be good for breakfast (the choices looked yummy) or an off hour later. Also saw some delicious looking chocolate chunk cookies and too-tempting cupcakes, plus there is a limited selection of Italian specialty goods.
I discovered LaMonica's after Good to Go closed. The Cousin Lenny is my favorite sandwich, but I love their prepared food. I confess to obsessively checking their online specials almost every morning, hoping they have roasted cauliflower with caramelized shallots...Oh, and those cookies are actually Reese's peanut butter cup chunk cookies, and they are really good!
I can see that the big struggle with this place will be between wanting to have something I already know is delicious and knowing there are undiscovered other delicious things that I should be trying.
I had the cobb salad for lunch today that I bought yesterday for dinner (except I just finished the sandwich instead--I have a weird work schedule). It was great and still plenty fresh.