Excuse me, sir, this is a Wendy’s. No, in fact it is not. A Wendy’s would presumably have some sort of respect for the city’s health code. And, yes, I know the sign in the window says ‘A,’ but my eyes say ‘F.’ Yet, despite this, I decided to eat at this joint. Not at the by-the-pound salad bar, mind you. I’m not a crazy person.
Truth be told, this was a desperation play. I’d walked by it a million times on my way to some other sandwich or salad place. Or maybe even something humus-related. But it looks more like a lottery ticket and cell phone charger store than a place that sells grub. Even with the fancy-pants Boar’s Head sign in the window. But I soldiered on. For some reason I like to torture myself by ordering tuna melts. I feel like perhaps it’s my way of testing a place’s moxie. Or the overall viability of their business. Do they toast the bread? Do they melt the cheese? Do they put a bunch of celery and garbage on their tuna? Too much mayo? A simple sandwich with a lot of components that a business can screw up. Even how they wrap the thing afterward (paper versus tin foil) can affect the outcome.
So, ignoring all the kind of dark and depressing other elements of Deli on Madison, did they pass the tuna melt test? The results should be evident by the fact that despite it being incredibly conveniently located, I never went back. I mean the thing didn’t poison me, or cause any kind of distress in the slightest. But it was also completely unmemorable. I mean, most sandwiches are unless they aren’t. I can’t say the service was incredibly friendly, either. The prices were inflated, of course, because this is midtown and all the dining establishments in the area get together at their annual meeting to collude and price-fix on what the absolute top dollar these fat-cat workers can afford to dish out for sustenance. Look, this isn’t fine-dining or corporate expense account territory. This is the joint where dudes in bad khakis and administrative assistants eat. So, take it down a peg, Mr. Madison Ave. Anyhow, you could throw this place in a stack with 500 other “delis” in NYC, toss them in the air and choose any one that landed near you with the same result. It’s fine, but hardly seems like a business someone cares about or can be proud to say they own.
420 Madison Ave. (bet. 48th & 49th St.)