Delis are some of the most convenient places to grab a quick lunch, but typically lack a welcoming atmosphere; you order your sandwich at a counter, buy a beverage and take it back to your office. However, Great Neck Gourmet Deli, a new eatery at 16 Middle Neck Rd., attempts to revamp a typical deli atmosphere through better service, inviting decor and more upscale dining options to attract both workers in a rush and diners looking for a casual, relaxing meal.
Great Neck Gourmet Deli, which opened in late 2017, is an eclectic, colorful and at-home eatery that emphasizes locally sourced produce and creative takes on traditional deli sandwiches. The eatery also features a full catering menu that can be custom crafted for all occasions.
Although the menu is rather typical, the decor is anything but. The restaurant is spacious and modern; colorful light fixtures illuminate the dining room, bright white signs showcase the restaurant’s options and an open drink bar entices customers to crave freshly brewed juice. Service is quick and professional, although it took quite some time for tables of finished plates to be cleared.
Great Neck Gourmet offers all the classics of a traditional deli: breakfast, Boar’s Head and other freshly prepared sandwiches as well as American classics, like burgers and waffle fries. However, Great Neck Gourmet aims to create new options to pull different cultures together into cohesive dishes. Standout options include a Santorini salad with feta and olives, Southern homestyle barbecue pulled pork with mac and cheese, rigatoni Alfredo and chicken Française from its gourmet hot buffet, and grilled chicken teriyaki and Israeli salad sold by the half pound. All prices are around average for a typical deli.
I tried The Blast ($8.49), a roast beef sandwich with mozzarella, grilled red onions and a Buffalo-ranch sauce on a garlic hero. The roast beef was sliced quite thin and was great with the homemade Buffalo sauce, which added spice, while the red onions added a nice crunch. I also sampled the Soprano panini ($9.49), breaded chicken cutlet with mozzarella, roasted red peppers and a creamy garlic and jalapeño sauce. This sandwich was fantastic: The chicken was tender, the sauce was wonderfully spicy and pungent, and the red peppers added a slight sweetness. Both sandwiches were served with a side of red cabbage coleslaw, which was a pleasant and unique take on a deli staple.
Although Great Neck Gourmet does not differ too much from a traditional deli, the casual ambiance and creativity regarding the menu separates this place from all other options.