What a great little gem in Fruitland Park!
The New York Deli N’ Diner, located at 3325 U.S. Hwy. 27/441, piqued our interest with its presence on social media. The eatery’s motto is “A taste of New York’s best foods. We don’t make sandwiches. We build them.” The photos of the eatery’s food – especially the bakery items – looked too good to be true, so it was time for a road trip.
As we pulled into the parking lot, we were very happy to see that Fruitland Park’s finest (police officers) were there and others were pulling into parking spaces. We know those hungry men and women like their food plentiful – hot and fast – so we knew it must be good.
As we entered the restaurant, the first thing we saw was the bakery cases packed full of sugary goodness. We were told to seat ourselves in the open dining area that had 15 multi-sized tables and counter seating. In cooler weather, you can sit outside and even bring Fido, as the restaurant is pet-friendly.
The room was almost full of diners – we saw some Villagers we knew with smiles on their faces – at lunch time, but we found a great table for four by the window, which made the dining experience even better.
The menu is quite varied, with a great selection of breakfast items (served all day), bagels, sandwiches, burgers, Sabrett hot dogs, antipasti, salads and a wide variety of beverages. You’ll find a great assortment of deli meat sandwiches, which the owner, Vito Serrone, told us is exclusively Boar’s Head meats.
Serrone also told us that in the 11 months he’s been open, he’s had wonderful guests who make it a point to tell him how much they enjoyed their meals. He’s quite a friendly guy. And, of course, he had no idea that our unassuming little trio was there to “review” the place.
We started off with a hot New York-style potato knish with butter, spicy mustard and a side of sour cream. They come two to an order and were hot, good, crunchy on the outside and nice and mashed on the inside. We were told that they also are made by Boar’s Head.
We couldn’t resist ordering one of the giant garlic pickles. It was big enough to slice up and share between the 3 of us – cold and crunchy with just the right amount of pickling spices.
For lunch, I had an order of five fried garlic Parmesan chicken wings that came with a side of French fries. The wings were fat and juicy and served with a creamy sauce on top and had the perfect crusty crunch. The fries were the thick-cut kind and were hot with a soft potato inside.
One of my dining companions just can’t resist a bacon cheeseburger whenever he can get one – and he was not disappointed. The burger meat was a large, half-pound patty and was not dripping in grease. The bacon was crispy, the cheese was melted perfectly and all was topped with a large slice of fresh tomato and a lettuce leaf. After his first bite, he just moaned with pleasure.
My other dining companion wanted a much lighter fare and absolutely loves chicken salad. This one was mixed with diced apples, grapes, celery and chunks of white chicken breast sitting atop a bed of lettuce. The only thing that needed to be added, according to individual taste, was salt and pepper. It was a beautiful sight to behold and tasted as good as it looked.
While we were dining, we saw beautifully overstuffed sub sandwiches being delivered to the next table whose diners were chatting with us before we ate. One sandwich was “The Vito” and the other was “The Big Jimmy.” The two diners seemed to be thrilled with their choices and told us it was not their first trip to the restaurant.
We finished every bit of what we all ordered and decided that a bakery item must be taken home to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee later in the day. We opted for one of the giant chocolate chip cookies, a brownie and a small bowl of the cheesecake and strawberry trifle. Although we all had the best intentions to have our dessert “later,” you know how that went. All of the desserts were simply divine.
Thank goodness that with all the menu items, we’ll all get to go back frequently. We plan to eat our way through that hefty menu for a couple of months before deciding our favorites. And we bet you’ll feel the same way after visiting the restaurant.
New York Deli N’ Diner is located in Fruitland Park in the space formerly occupied by Pete’s Diner, in the strip shopping center that also houses Badcock Home Furniture and Appliance Direct (at the corner of U.S. Hwy. 27/441 and Picciola Cutoff Road). It’s open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday. Call (352) 365-0051 for more information.
The eatery also offers take-out and delivery on $15 minimum orders. And be sure to get your Sandwich Club Card at check-out because every 11th sandwich is free.