Dish No. 100: Eisenberg’s Tuna Melt Is Perfectly Imperfect


​Welcome to the 2011 Edition of 100 Dishes to Eat Now, Fork in the Road’s handy list of some of our favorite dishes — old standbys and new finds alike. Over the next 100 days, we’ll be counting down our beloved eats, all leading up to our Best of 2011 issue.

Given its proximity to Eataly and the high-end strip mall more commonly known as lower Fifth Avenue, the fact that Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop not only survives but continues to thrive is a cause for celebration. And so is its tuna melt.

This is not a tuna melt made from yellowfin tuna plucked from Spanish waters or artisanal cheddar squeezed from the udders of heritage-breed cows. It’s just a square slice of Kraft and a generous, unassuming blob of tuna salad, pressed between generously buttered slices of rye. It’s accompanied by some not particularly good pickles, and it is exactly the sort of tuna melt we crave when we think of a tuna melt.

Sure, it could use a little more cheese and a shake or two of salt, but in a city whose restaurants are obsessed with out-perfecting one another, often to cartoonish effect, imperfection is a comfort. Particularly when it’s presented at Eisenberg’s 82-year-old counter, a place where we wish we could eat all our sandwiches, all the time.

Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop
174 Fifth Avenue

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