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The classic New York lunch or breakfast is a sandwich. You can buy one almost anywhere. Everyone has their favorite, depending upon the bread, what’s in between, or the mayo or mustard. Eggs, ham, avocado, meat or no meat; the combinations are endless. But on Greenwich Avenue you may just find your new favorite at The Original Sandwich Shoppe, our March Business of the Month.
Since 1983, this family-owned and operated Greenwich Village staple has been serving up deliciousness. It may choose to go by “shoppe,” but the place is entirely down-to-Earth and unpretentious. Potato chip bags are on wire shelves and the deli-style counter is open and allows you to see all the makings of your meal. First opened by her aunt and two brothers who had worked at Dean & DeLuca, Grettel Ramirez has been “paying the bills” as she puts it running the place for fifteen years now. Her aunt is in her 90’s and retired in their native Costa Rica.
They are known for their turkey sandwich, perhaps the best in New York City. The Cuban is also widely praised. And their sandwiches are on a number of “Best of” lists. Even if you don’t eat meat they still have you covered, as there is a great vegetable medley on the bread of your choice, or the portobello mushroom sandwich.
A few of the sandwiches have earned names with some interesting stories behind them. “Elena’s” is so named because it’s the first sandwich proprietor Grettel’s daughter ate. “Mama’s” lives up to it’s name for the much-loved breaded chicken the matriarch of the family would fashion. And “Daisy” was the culinary aunt that inspired the sandwich containing chicken salad on the bread of your choice with their homemade herbal mayo, lettuce and tomatoes. But there is no combination too weird to order, Grettel says; “The customer is always right.” Sliced apple and roasted pepper and bacon on rye is no problem.
Check them out on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tossnyc/
The loss of St. Vincent’s hospital was a hard hit for the Shoppe. But they have a loyal customer base and the myriad Village strollers invariable stop in to get a bite to eat. To what does she attribute their success? “We have good food.” And they work a lot. And you don’t always have to stop by in person. They offer delivery service through a variety of online services. They can fashion 4 foot long heroes or platters for your party or office.
From one of many laudatory reviews:
“For decades, this shop has been able to make it in the West Village with good reason: it’s GOOD! Very good. Homemade, fresh, affordable is a tough trio to find, especially for something FAMILY-OWNED downtown, not a major chain! A sister and brother own and operate the shop; they know you, they remember you, they say hi. When you run into them on the street, they always wave. That’s service. I love their turkey sandwich: it’s Thanksgiving Day-juicy that pools on your plate, and the lettuce is crisp and their homemade mayo is delectable. Plus, their seeded breads and baguettes are always morning-of fresh, as are their cheeses (mozzarella, swiss, brie etc.) and other meats (soppressata, salami, ham etc.) I’ve just become a fan of their brownie which is fudgy and homemade, dotted with big chocolate chips and a crispy thin top layer. Just the way I like it:) If you’re into supporting an independent business that always delivers fresh, healthy, frills-free meals, this is your place!” Bonnie.
They have baguettes and all kinds of bread and brownies too, and like a real local place they have a bench outside. And it is on the ground floor of that building built in 1861 but with the striking undulating profile (added later, of course).So go visit or order from a great independently-owned family-run business with terrific, original food, The Original Sandwich Shoppe – our March Business of the Month.
What special small business would you like to see featured next? Just click here to nominate our next one. Thank you! #shoplocalnyc
And here is a handy map of all of our Businesses of the Month: