Heroes set to save Super Bowl Sunday
Despite what the NFL or the television networks would have you believe, not everyone is a football fan. Sure, there are those that dutifully paint their faces and head out shirtless to the stadium nearly every Sunday, while others simple gather with their crew to grunt as one at the local bar or in front of a big-screen TV from the comfort and warmth of their own home.
This article is not for those people. No, this article is for the casual fan who only watches football during their weekly laundry-folding marathon or when they are a guest at the house of a friend who happens to be a fanatic. This article is for those who, yes, will watch the Super Bowl, but not because they care one way or the other if Tom Brady wins another title or if the Rams cover the spread (whatever that means). This is for those whose Super Bowl interests hinge on the other kind of spread—the food spread.
For years, wings have been the go-to fare for Super Sunday and for good reason. Coated in sensually spicy buffalo sauce or sticky sweet barbecue sauce, wings are the perfect big-game food because you can eat at least 20 before you start to feel ill. Wings are wonderful, but wings have been done. Instead, this article is dedicated to the mighty sandwich and the best spots on Long Island to load up on love between slices of bread—meats, cheeses and everything else bookended by bread that is simultaneously crusty and pillowy soft.
Baseball might be the National Pastime, but football is America’s Game. And in America we cram whatever we damn-well please onto a loaf of bread and unhinge our jaw for a hulking bite. The sandwich hits hunger hard, proudly served from the home field of the ubiquitous Long Island deli.
Syosset’s Village Heros, 80 W. Jericho Tpke., serves up pure touchdowns with absolutely gigantic hero sandwiches that come in two sizes, large and small. The large is two meals in one, while the small remains stocky and powerful. There are many favorites on the menu like the Wild Willy and the Italian Stallion Bomber, but ask for the special Donnie Brasco with fried chicken cutlets, American cheese, crisp bacon, sautéed onions and Russian dressing on a garlic hero. Sometimes on the specials board, sometimes not—but ask for it either way and the team at Village Heros will gladly build one just for you.
Breaking tackles over to Plainview, Fireside Caterers has been a staple in the community for a number of years at 513 Old Country Rd. Regulars to the sandwich haven are well versed in the menu’s classic sandwiches like the Captain Hook, The Islander and Mussolini’s Revenge—but hot hero fans need to bite down on the G-Man, with roast beef and melted mozzarella on a garlic hero. The pungent garlic bread makes all the difference here, with a taste—and aroma—you and your Super Bowl friends will remember well after the game clock ticks zero.
In Garden City South, Adelphi Deli, 351 Nassau Blvd., has a long list of sandwiches like the Crackerjack, the People’s Chicken and the Cattleman, but its best sandwich might be its simplest—The Snack, with chicken cutlet, melted mozzarella and brown gravy. The richness of the gravy soaks into the length of the hero bread, making a moist sandwich from end-to-end, while the chicken cutlet remains crisp and the mozzarella holds the entire sandwich together.
Cherry Valley Deli
Farther west, Cherry Valley Deli, 168 Hempstead Tpke., stays open 24 hours in West Hempstead, and while the parking situation is anything but super, the sandwiches are like any high-powered office—unrelenting and devastating. The Last Call is the perfect nightcap with chicken cutlet, mushrooms, mozzarella and gravy, while the Macho Man adds Swiss and fried onions to the team—but the Bomb Hero is perhaps the most powerful, with brown gravy covering grilled steak, bacon, cheddar and onion rings. The robust steak is the lumbering linebacker of the sandwich world, hitting hard and taking no prisoners.
And finally, the South Shore’s local hero, the chicken Bindy, is presented in its most savory form at Green Deli, 1710 Rockaway Ave. in Lynbrook. Another 24-hour shop, Green’s Bindy is the classic combination of chicken cutlet, bacon, mozzarella and Russian dressing. If it were a player on a team, it would for sure be the safety as the always a reliable defense against a hungry onslaught.
So this Super Bowl Sunday, buy some office boxes and gawk at the ridiculous and always disappointing commercials and even pay attention to the game if that’s your thing. But remember, the NFL’s championship game exists for one reason—to give you an excuse for over-eating indulgence on a random night in February.