Richard is a native New Yorker. And he loves his New York hot dogs, pastrami sandwiches, and reubens. Cheesecake…..not so much, but I make up for him with my big love of all things cheesecake. And New York-style pizza – not so much love going on there, either. He and I both think that the New York-style pizza can’t hold a candle to that great deep dish pan pizza from Chicago (oh yum)!
So……when I came across a positive review of Big Mike’s NY Deli & Sandwich Shop in Horizon City, I knew we’d be there before too long. And two days later, there we were. Big Mike’s is owned by someone who’s lived in the New York area, so we figured he’d know a few things about New York deli food. A trip from the Westside of El Paso to Horizon City is a good distance, and we certainly got to see plenty of desert scenery on the way.
Once in Horizon City, we came upon a bustling little shopping center (and come to think of it, it may be the only shopping center in Horizon City). And sure enought, there sat Big Mike’s right in the midst of all this activity. From the looks of it, Big Mike’s gets plenty of walk-by and drive-by traffic in that location.
We walked inside the restaurant, and it was brand-spanking clean. We also saw a nice big walk-up cooler filled with drinks. Richard was hoping they’d be filled with Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda but alas, they were not. Richard would be a forever friend of Big Mike’s if they ever began stocking that stuff.
Big Mike’s menu heavily features subs, in addition to reuben and pastrami sandwiches and paninis.A board inside advertised daily specials, which included a sausage, pepper and onion sub. But Richard had already scoped out what he wanted: the Romanian (hot pastrami on rye with Swiss, deli mustard and sauerkraut), along with a side of fries. I was impressed when he was given a choice of light rye, dark rye, or marble rye. Big Mike’s is owned by someone who’s lived in the New York area, and he clearly knows how partial many New Yorkers are to rye bread.
I honestly am not much of a deli or sub person. I’m not really into deli meats or most subs, though I like a good meatball sub. There was no meatball sub on Big Mike’s menu (hint hint….possible new menu addition?!). So I went with the Vegetable Panini (roasted eggplant and zucchini with onion, tomato, mozzarella and basil, toasted in bread on a panini press).
Richard and I made our way to one of the spotless booths in the restaurant, and right away he eyed a Magic 8 ball sitting on the table. Richard asked the 8 ball this question: “Am I going to enjoy the food here”. And what did the 8 ball answer? It said: “Signs point to yes”. And thus it was!
Before too long, out came our sandwiches. Richard’s Romanian looked delicious. The marble rye was high quality bread, and Richard said that the sandwich was just delicious in its entirety, including the pastrami itself. He said that it tasted just as good as many of the deli pastrami sandwiches he used to get back in Brooklyn, but was a whole lot cheaper! He said that the fries were good, though he has a personal preference for cute little crinkle-cut fries.
My Vegetable Panini was made from high quality bread and included a nice mix of vegetables. But I thought the sandwich overall was a bit bland and could have used some added seasoning and “zip”. I think that next time I will go for one of the subs instead. I saw several that were being served to other customers, and they certainly looked delicious.
There were some tasty-looking desserts in the front counter (cheesecake, cannoli, and carrot cake on this day), but we were too full for any on this trip. Maybe next time!
Big Mike’s NY Style Deli & Sandwich Shop is a very casual restaurant. You order and pay at the counter, and then your food is brought out to you. There were several other customers there even at the early hour we arrived, and food appeared to arrive fairly quickly for everyone. Service was fast and courteous, and as we’ve said before…..this was one clean restaurant (even my clean-freak grandmother would have approved!). Richard was so thrilled to find a place that he can come back to for a “New York taste fix”.