When I saw that one of the highest rated restaurants on Yelp was a deli in Astoria, I was making plans to visit this deli faster than you can say “hold the mayo”.Â So one Thursday night around 8:45, I got off the Ditmars Blvd stop in Astoria, practically skipping to this mecca of sandwiches, when I discovered it was closed.Â While I was discouraged, the following Thursday I decided to pass on Happy Hour because this time, I was making it to the deli before it closed at 8.
Needless to say, I made it to the deli on time – and to sum up my experience, is best in a stream of consciousness.
Hmm, this place is a hole in the wall, I’m surprised it’s rated so high on Yelp.Â Sir, can you tell me what’s on the “Bomb”.Â Great, I don’t understand a word he just said aside from it’s American + Italian.Â I’ll stick with the Italian combo.Â Sir, what’s on the Italian combo?Â Did he just say mortadella?Â I haven’t been offered mortadella on a sandwich since I was in Florence at the Oil Shoppe.Â Sir, please hold the mortadella.Â (Turn to the Boyfriend) Mortadella is like bologna.Â I can’t eat it, the smell made me sick once on a train to Rome.Â (Turn back to the guy) Can you please put fresh mozzarella on it? And yes, just one sandwich, we’ll split. (Walk around store) Rumor is this sandwich is so huge, I don’t think we’ll need chips.Â I guess we’ll be taking it home since there’s no place to sit.Â (Back to counter) Only 7 dollars?Â This thing is like the size of my leg.
(Begin biting into it) Wow this is really good.Â It’s a little oily and vinegary and I wish my bread wasn’t falling apart as much on the bottom.Â (Turn to the boyfriend) Ugh how come your bread isn’t falling apart, maybe I’m a messy kid (Continue eating) Oh my god, I can actually taste each individual cold cut.Â There is actually a ton of prosciutto on here.Â This is so good.Â I’m going to savor every bite.Â This might actually be one of the best Italian combos I’ve ever had.Â And it’s so CHEAP! I can’t believe we just spent 7 bucks on dinner and are both full!
Flash forward 30 hours later.Â The boyfriend had actually ordered the sandwich for lunch and saved the other half for after a night out – and yes, he carried it in his backpack from Astoria to Murray Hill to the Upper East Side.Â After a night out at the Wharf and Brother Jimmy’s, the sandwich hands down was much better than any slice of pizza or diner meal.Â And this time, the bread was much more intact.
Guest Post by Ben Rosenfeld, Astoria Correspondent
I’m usually able to chow down a 24 ounce porterhouse steak in one sitting, but the Italian Combo for $7 takes me two full meals to devour. SKC’s makes one of the biggest, tastiest and cheapest sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.
They may put nicotine in this sandwich cause it’s addictive. I wound up ordering this sandwich two days in a row: split it with the girlfriend one night, then ordered it again the next day and had it for lunch and dinner.
This sandwich is so good, that if I ever move out of Astoria, I would consider taking a subway up here just to eat it. And that my friends, is the ultimate test of a food establishment: Are you willing to go out of your way, and out of walking distance, to eat there?
Do note, this is strictly a to-go deli as there are no sit down tables, but the service is fast and the sandwiches are great.The Basics Name: Sal, Kris & Charlie’s Deli Location: 33-12 23rd Ave, Astoria Who to take: Alone, Friends (keeps you company on the subway!) Cost: Even a homeless man can afford it. $ Overall: Become a regular.Â 5 stars.