I don’t watch 30 Rock, much to Josh’s sister’s dismay, but somehow I ended up watching the “Sandwich Day” episode that featured a roast beef and mozzarella sandwich with magical dipping sauce. It was and still is the only episode of 30 Rock that I’ve seen, and I couldn’t get that sandwich out of my mind, or the scene of Tina Fey’s character eating it at the airport security gate because the dipping sauce was over 3 ounces.
I read a post on Serious Eats New York that revealed the sandwich to be from Fiore’s Deli in Hoboken. Even though Hoboken is just across the Hudson, and Josh and I are in NJ fairly often, we could never find the time to get over to Fiore’s to try out this sandwich. So when Josh was assigned to a project in Jersey City and he mentioned that he had been hoofing it over to Hoboken for lunch, I quickly looked up the deli’s address and found that it wasn’t too far from his office. I asked him to pick up some sandwiches for dinner and made sure to tell him that he had to go on a Thursday, as that was when the magical dipping sauce would be available.
So the last Thursday before his Jersey City project ended, Josh made the trip to Fiore’s. He picked up two sandwiches, which are so large that they’re really like four sandwiches, and brought back 1.5 for our dinner that night (he ate a half for lunch).
He also got a huge container of the magical dipping sauce, which is gravy made from the roast beef drippings. We heated the gravy up on the stove, and it smelled and looked a lot like soy sauce.
Fortunately it didn’t taste like soy sauce, although I thought a detected a hint of it in the flavor. Maybe it was just my mind playing tricks on me since it really looked so much like soy sauce. We also heated up the sandwiches briefly in the oven, since the bread had gotten very soggy from traveling all day. While the bread crisped up nicely, and the cheese got a little melty, I think it dried out the roast beef unfortunately.
The dry roast beef wasn’t a huge issue though, as we had lots of dipping sauce on hand. I liberally dipped each bite into the gravy, letting it soak into everything.
Overall I must admit that I was a little disappointed with this sandwich. I know a lot of it was probably my fault in not eating it right away and reheating it in the oven, but the flavors weren’t as good as I thought they’d be; it was kind of one note. The beef didn’t have a huge amount of flavor to it.
Josh did eat half a sandwich right away, and while he said the roast beef was definitely moister originally, the bread was better after being toasted. And I’m sure the mozzarella cheese lost a lot of its fresh taste after being melted a bit. I thought the sandwiches would have roasted peppers on them but maybe you need to specially request them. I wonder if adding those would have helped perk up the flavors of the sandwich.
I think I’ll need to find a Saturday to make the trip to Fiore’s Deli myself, so that I can have a freshly made sandwich and dipping sauce and eat it right away. I don’t think that I can fairly judge this sandwich at this point. I also wouldn’t mind trying some other things that the deli has to offer!
414 Adams St.