Our Weekly Bread: Mendelson's Greenwich Village

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The Sandwich: Greenwich Village

What's on it: Pastrami-seasoned turkey, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, lettuce, tomato and Russian dressing on rye

Where to get it: Mendelson's New York Delicatessen (600 17th Street, 303-996-5555)

How much: $9.75

If sandwiches were movies, then Mendelson's triple-deckers would be the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a massive, three-part blockbuster, praised both for its scope and mass appeal as well as its artistic interpretation and the technical skill involved. No small-scale indie gems or biting, art-house-only documentaries here; Mendelson's sandwiches open in every theater, sell millions of tickets and win all the awards.

Okay, Oscar-season analogy over. But you get my point.

Any deli can name its sandwiches after New York neighborhoods, but only a few really deserve to, and Mendelson's is one of them. The place starts with Boar's Head meats of an unbelievable variety, and layers them on so thick it's hard to open wide enough (at least on the triple-deckers, of which there are 21 to choose from). In between, they load up all the other ingredients that make for classic, NYC-style sandwiches.

I tried the Greenwich Village, which had two massive layers of turkey seasoned with pastrami -- one of four kinds of turkey on the menu. In between was a heaping helping of fresh coleslaw, Swiss cheese and, of course, the requisite Russian dressing. It was bigger than any sandwich I've tried so far.

Now, here's the really dangerous part: Mendelson's Triple Decker (or perhaps triple bypass) Club. If you eat all 21 triple-deckers offered at this deli, you get a free Mendelson's jacket or sweatshirt and the honor and pride that go along with it. I got myself a punch card just in case -- although joining the club won't come cheap. The triple-deckers may have NYC authenticity, but they also have NYC prices, ranging from $8.95 to $10.50. So if you ate all 21, it would run you just under $205 before tax.

But hey, we're talking about a blockbuster here. You'll laugh, you'll cry. You'll be full for the rest of the day.

For previous sandwiches, see the Our Weekly Bread archive.

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