Foodography: James Mazzio opens Red Star Deli in the Icehouse

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By noon, there was a line slinking out the door of Red Star Deli, James Mazzio's new sandwich shop that opened at 6 a.m. yesterday inside the Icehouse, 1801 Wynkoop Street, which is also home to Studio F, a behemoth space complete with a state-of-the-art professional kitchen that Mazzio will use, starting in April, for monthly pop-up dinners and cooking classes. "We had about forty people come in yesterday for sandwiches, which was about 35 more than I expected," says Mazzio. "We thought it would be relatively slow, but the lunch hour kicked my ass into gear."

The deli, open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., pimps an impressive selection of fresh salads and hot and cold sandwiches, all of which are bolstered by high-quality ingredients and chef-made dressings and sauces. "They're inspired by the sandwiches I had during my childhood, growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia," says Mazzio. These, he insists, are "the real deal -- authentic sandwiches that you want to rub all over your face."

I stopped by Red Star Deli yesterday, during the lunch crush, and while I refrained from smearing curried chicken salad all over my face, I did get to taste several of Mazzio's sandwiches, all of which were worthy of a return visit. Herewith, the photos of the feast.

Mazzio's BLT&E: Five-pepper bacon, beefsteak tomatoes, butter lettuce and egg salad on Texas toast. Honey-Dijon-dressed house salad mixed with greens, pickled beets and onions, toasted pine nuts, oven-roasted tomatoes and Avalanche goat cheese. Curried chicken salad tortilla wrap. Macaroni salad, one of the available side dishes that comes with each sandwich; potato salad, coleslaw or chips are alternative options. Bacon! The Italiano, stacked with pepperoni, capicola, Parmacotta ham, mortadella, Genoa salami, butter lettuce, beefsteak tomatoes, hot giardiniera peppers, aged provolone and red-wine vinegar on an Italian roll. Desserts, including chocolate chip brownies and muffins, are all baked in-house. The deli counter. The inside of Studio F, which doubles as a dining area for the deli.

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