Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop, located at 174 5th Ave between 22nd & 23rd Sts., has proudly been “raising New York’s cholesterol since 1929.” The front of this tiny shotgun diner is always subway-car packed with take-out orders yet if you manage to push to the back they’ll find a way to squeeze you into to one last table. Guaranteed.
I wouldn’t exactly say you go to Eisenberg’s for the food, though their old time New York specialties like tuna melts & egg creams receive raves (not from me as I eat neither eggs nor fish…check out the full menu here). The place floats on it’s charm. Their sandwiches have been described by the Village Voice as “perfectly imperfect” which pretty much sums up the mix of frenetic energy and New York “take it or leave it” attitude of the place.
You sit down, are thrown a plate of pickles and almost immediately asked what you want to order. I go often enough that I have my order down pat: BLT on toasted wheat, no mayo, side of fries (unless it’s raining- then matzo ball soup with a side of fries). The flustered guests I bring are given a hot minute to make up their mind.
I know I’ve already waxed poetic about New York diners but this one in particular is worth a visit. There’s the saying “If you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen” well, if you can’t Eisenberg’s, stay out of New York. But if you can, you’ll love them both.