Made with freshly roasted turkey still warm, Giant Bagel Shop’s turkey sandwich is a near miracle.
Giant Bagel Shop looks like any other Village deli, turning out luncheon-meat sandwiches and salad-bar assortments to feed a constituency of office workers, students, and union employees, whose locals dot the immediate neighborhood. But every weekday a big roast turkey is set out on the high sandwich counter late in the morning for all to see, plunging the place into a perpetual Thanksgiving.
The roast turkey is still warm as the sandwich maker hand-cuts it from the carcass to your specifications and piles it on the rye, applies vigorous shakes of salt and coarsely ground pepper, then adds whatever extras you envision — in my case raw onion, Russian dressing, and sliced Jersey tomato. I might skip the tomato and add the iceberg in the non-tomato months, but the raw onion always stays, as astringent and skanky as the turkey is bland, firm, and pure.
Sure, some folks walk up to the counter not seeing the turkey — which is discreetly covered with a piece of foil, both to protect the bird’s modesty and to keep her warm — and order a turkey roll, allowing you to righteously snicker under your breath. You stick with the fresh, knowing how much better it is, and that the turkey sandwich costs you a mere $6.50, and is worth every penny.
Giant Bagel Shop
120 University Place
The hot turkey is somewhat obscured by a mantle of foil.