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Saturday, November 30, 2013

First Carolina Deli: North Carolina's Best

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate to children under the age of 13 and those unfamiliar with Tobacco Road

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First Carolina Deli in Greensboro, NC is my favorite deli south of South of Katz's and the Carnegie Deli in NY.  They have some of the benchmarks that make a great deli.  In the south these are difficult to come by.

#1 Great Pastrami- Check
#2 Unique Sandwiches- Check
#3 Taylor Ham- Double Check.

Full disclosure, I went to college in Greensboro and we tend to romanticize things from the past and in particular, we tend to romanticize college.  I am more than guilty of this as well.  We waste ALOT of time in college and I wasted some of my best time at the FCD.  I wasted most of my time at the Corner Bar.  My buddy Hot Plate used to bring his books to the bar to study.

We also wasted alot of time making up great nicknames too.  MOFA (part man/ part sofa, he wasn't very active) and Mystery Meat (nobody knew his name, but he was at every party) were my favorites I can put in writing.

"The Big Chill" did a great job framing this point.  But it's possible "Old School" may hit a little closer to home.  But I always remembered the FCD being my favorite deli.  And you know what?  I didn't romanticize it.  It is really that good.

This has to be one of the greatest ensembles since the Godfather, right?

But for me, college was a little more like this

But the reason college was what it was for us leads back to the GREAT John Belushi.  Though it may cost me a few years on the back nine of life.  Totally worth it though.
And their menu has NEVER changed, it looks the same as it did in 1991.  They are the masters at what they do.

The majority of their sandwiches are named after towns in New Jersey, Dean who opened the shop in 1985 is surprisingly from..............Jersey!  In an unofficial poll, most of my college buddies favor the Hoboken.  The sauteed cherry peppers are what makes the Hoboken unique. In fact I ordered one today and it's exactly how I remembered from a long time ago.

My favorite?  The Italian Sailor.  Pepperoni with Pastrami?  You bet your ass that works.

After those, our other favorites (in no particular order) were the Sky Dog, Emerson, Continental and the Hackensack.  Then the Taylor Ham and Cheese is another classic.  Nobody south of Jersey cuts their taylor ham this thick.  Use a little ketchup and BAM, deli perfection.

Nothing makes me happier than sharing one of my college favorites with my daughter.

I have cursed my daughter into being a Redskins fan
The greatest cook in FCD History:  John Alperti, he went from making sausages to racing them this summer!
So if you are passing through Greensboro, NC or staying there, stop by FCD.  It's a true hidden gem.

Today's Footnote:  The iconic college movies of all time.

Animal House:  This is no longer your grandfathers college.  I blame this movie for our 1,000 people fraternity parties with a two story beer bong.  I'm sorry, our alleged two story beer bong.  I may still be liable for an incident that I would like to keep quiet.

Revenge of the Nerds:
A picture says it all
The Big Chill:  It was all fun in games until we find out William Hurt is a strung out Eunuch

Old School:  We all would like to hang on to the dream a little too long.  And I love it.

I really do have a great sand guy.  Maybe we do some bubbles too?

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