Saturday, January 9, 2010

Certe 01-05-2010

Location: 20 W. 55th St.
Time: 1pm

Feelings: I am not a huge fan of sandwiches, burgers or anything to do with a bread-savory combo. In fact, I don't really care for bread either. What can I say? I'm a noodle gal, and my carb of choice is noodles all the way. I also don't want to eat food with my bear hands, and I don't want to use my front teeth as utensils. I would eat chips with a fork if it were possible! Despite my aversion to sandwiches and burgers, I decided to try a deli called Certery after reading positive reviews.

There were some obstacles on the way. I had to pass by my favorite ramen shop in Midtown, Menchanko-Tei in order to get to Certe. I also knew that Menkui Tei and Ma Peche were a next street over. All these noodle-tastic places were trying to seduce me to their ways. (Must fight the noodle urges!)

I eventually made it to Certe and was quite impressed with their cute interior and logo unlike many other delis in the area. There were many vegan and vegetarian options on the menu and, they also carried all my favorite Ito-En bottled teas. The service was friendly, and overall it gave me an impression of a very down to earth deli.

I ordered a salmon burger ($8.95 with cucumber, lemon, capers, and remoulade sauce). I added lettuce and tomatoes, which apparently made it into a combo meal (plus $2.50) that came with fries. When I ordered, I expected a minced breaded salmon patty, but it turned out to be a fish fillet formed burger. It was surprisingly fresh and high quality fish. The sesame brioche buns were perfectly soft and magnified the freshness of the fish.

Although I didn't want fries, I tasted a few. They were crispy outside and soft and fluffy inside. The earthy potato flavor lingered in my mouth without a hint of over-greasiness or saltiness. I am not sure of the actual health content, but they tasted healthier and more fresh than many other fries I have tasted.

Certe caters towards the pickiest of eaters like myself. Most delis in the area are for business commuters, and they only serve the most basic and bland, overpriced, and rather unhealthy lunches. I also never feel comfortable going to a deli and being surrounded by men in business attire, but here, I felt very comfortable. I could picture a deli like Certe existing in Carroll Gardens or Soho. I am happy to find a cute and appealing deli that could satisfy ovo-pescatarian's lunch needs. Who knows, I might start eating more sandwiches.

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