Ken Eats Gainesville – Dave’s New York Deli

Dave’s New York Deli started out in a small location just a bit west on Newberry Road from where it is now in the Tioga Town Center. Its loyal following and big lunch crowds enabled them to move into their current location. It’s no accident. They serve great cuts of meat (mostly Boar’s Head), offer a large selection of New York Deli sandwiches, hot and cold subs, salads, burgers, hot dogs and cheesesteaks, and desserts are flown in from the Big Apple itself. Most of the sandwiches on the menu are offered in a regular size (4 ounces of meat) and NY Size (8 ounces of meat).

You’ll get the feeling of being in a busy New York deli the moment you walk in the door. Checkerboard tiles adorn the place, along with large communal tables (so you can sit near strangers struggling to fit giant sandwiches in their mouths). There’s the wall of photos where Dave (yes, he’s a real guy) is posing with the likes of Fred Taylor, Ryan Lochte, Bobby Flay, and sigh…Guy Fieri. I didn’t want to mention him, but you can’t miss the goatee and frosted tips.

The formidable menu fills an entire wall as tall counters shield you from the busy-bees behind the meat cooler, churning out monstrous sandwiches at a furious pace. The big star for me is definitely the “New York, New York” sandwich. I prefer it NY Size ($10.99), with half a pound of pastrami and corned beef, deli mustard, some Swiss cheese, piled high between two pieces of rye bread, and served with a pickle. I will sometimes even order a side of potato chips and stuff them in the sandwich, because I’m a terrible, terrible person and it’s frickin’ delicious. Wash it down with some Dr. Brown’s root beer, and you’ll suddenly develop the strange urge to wear a Yankees cap and yell at taxis. Dave’s also makes a mean Reuben ($7.49/$11.49 – corned beef, Swiss, sauerkraut, house Reuben dressing, and rye bread) and a classic BLT referred to as the “Brentwood” ($6.99/$10.99).

Then there’s the dessert. The cheesecake here is phenomenal. How could it not be? Dave’s gets them shipped in directly from New York’s famous Carnegie Deli, and he does it often because it sells so well. The cannolis are fantastic as well, and are all made by the Brooklyn Cannoli Company. Some will scoff at the fact that they’re not made in-house. But Dave promises a taste of New York City, and well…it doesn’t get any closer to the real thing…because it is the real thing…from New York.

As far as I’m concerned, there are only two places in town where I’ll go get a sandwich; Hogan’s and Dave’s New York Deli. Best part of it all? Dave’s offers catering services as well, churning out large platters of his lox and bagels, deli sandwiches, and delicious cheesecake perfect for bringing into the office. That is, of course, if you don’t mind an unproductive staff for the remainder of the day.

By Ken Peng

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