Mama’s New York Deli

I drive a motorbike in this town and one of the things I miss is the scenery that whizzes on by. I think it’s my constant paranoia of being run over by a helmetless freshie boy on a moto or a plateless SUV barreling down the wrong side of the street that keeps my eyes glued to the road. Which is why I have been taking walks around town. It gives me a chance to check things out and also to keep up with my podcasts.

Mama's New York Deli exterior

Mama's New York Deli exterior

It was on one of these walks when I spied a new restaurant near my house and stopped on in. To my surprise, an old acquaintance opened the joint with her running the front of the house while her mom (Mama Ung) commands the kitchen.
We had a bit of a chat and went for a review a couple of days later.

One note about the review: Mama’s was only open 5 days so the food and prices might have changed.

Mama’s is a no frills restaurant with an interior has a spartan and airy feel to it. There is a refrigeration unit on your right when you walk in that carries all sorts of drinks but if you are looking for a cheap drink, they have fountain sodas for only $0.50.

The food is anything but spartan. The portions are huge and very tasty. Every plate came with a fresh garden salad, french fries and homemade pickles. Just what I would like from a deli style restaurant.  We ordered the corned beef on rye, the meatball sub on baguette and the patty melt (which wasn’t part of the menu but is now).

Corned beef sandwich with french fries and homemade pickle

Corned beef sandwich with french fries and homemade pickle

The corned beef was cut deli style and served with chopped lettuce, sliced tomato, a slice of white cheddar and slathered with mayo. The rye was toasted on a griddle and had enough butter to keep me wiping my hands on my napkin.

Meatball sub at Mama's New York Deli

Meatball sub at Mama's New York Deli

I enjoyed the meatball sub which had a great tomato sauce that was tangy and sweet. Once again portion size wasn’t a problem but I feel a bit of cheese could have helped along the sub.

Patty melt at Mama's New York Deli

Patty melt at Mama's New York Deli

My favorite was the patty melt. A patty melt is traditionally a hamburger patty, grilled onions and cheese (swiss or cheddar) stuffed between two pieces of rye bread. The sandwich is then fried with some butter on a griddle to toast the bread and melt the cheese. Since it wasn’t on the menu, it was an adhoc affair with way too much cheese on the burger. Usually I don’t complain about these things but after eating the first two sandwiches, the level of gluttony was hitting epic levels.  — Vinh

Cheese overload on the patty melt

Cheese overload on the patty melt

Having lived in NYC for a few years and being relatively poor, I ate slices and bodega deli sandwiches for probably 75% of my meals.   There is just something about how NYC deli’s don’t hold back on the unhealthy-ness.  Everything is buttered, grilled, slathered with mayo and delicious and Mama’s has this down.  We started with the corn beef and meatball sub which were both damn good.  Corn beef was the stand out on this first round of sandwiches but the meatball sub was not bad at all, I think it’s just tough to get a good roll here.

For the next round we asked if they could make a patty melt which wasn’t on the menu but after some explanation they agreed to give it a try.  Oh man, it was bomb.  As Vinh mentioned, a little overloaded with cheese but it kind of just fell out on the side so if you avoided that chunk, the rest was amazing.  The homemade fries were lacking but we had way too much food so I wasn’t missing them.  Overall, this place is great and I’m happy for some NYC comfort food. — Bryse

4.5 out of 5 nyamies Bryse

3.5 out of 5 nyamies Vinh

The menu has changed from the time of review so I have enclosed the menu here.
Mama’s New York Deli
House #60, Street 63
Inbetween streets 380 and 392
078 948 103

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Mama’s New York Deli

  1. warrenPP

    Opening enthusiasm I think. Pictures are great here, the food looks nothing like that now. The portions are no longer huge, the condiments are tiny or missing.
    I’ve eaten there a number of times, only to be more disappointed every time (even after giving them another chance).

    First downhill occasion, the patty melt came with no salad (check photo & description on the menu) – after inquiring, I was told ‘that is how it comes, no salad, it is not a burger’). Just a lone patty melt on a white plate. It was not what the menu had described (all burgers come with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion’) and the patty melt is in the ‘burger section of the menu’. Strange.

    Next time I visited I ordered the mamas burger and added french fries for $0.50
    However, on arrival there were 4 ‘fries’ on my plate, seriously. (now check photo above). I pointed this out and was told ‘you must order extra fries for $1’…. I really wanted fries, so said ‘yes, can I have an extra portion’
    My entire meal was removed from the table and returned 5 minutes later, with (you will not believe this) 8 fries. Really, there were 8 fries. $1.50 for 8 fries, half (4 fries) of which were now cold. I was shocked, I pointed it out to the owner who again stated ‘that’s fine, you got fries’.
    The folk that were with me even started laughing as if this was some kind joke on me, but no, even after a entire table of guests pointed out that the 8 fries was not a normal portion + an extra portion. The owner (who seemingly has come back from the States) looked puzzled and just turned her back and walked away, never to return. And on that note, I will never return again.
    Back to Freebird for me.

    • Hi Warren,

      Thanks for the update on Mama’s. I have eaten there a couple of times since the review but stuck to the salads. It’s a bit of a bummer to hear that the quality has gone down.
      But in their defense, a patty melt usually doesn’t have PLOT on it but if it is advertised with it, I would expect the PLOT to be on the side.
      BTW, have you had the burger at T-Bone?

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