Ashby’s, 64 W 22ndStreet
The first time I walked into Ashby’s, the chef had just pulled fresh-baked cookies out of the oven: 2 for $1. I have gone there for lunch at least once a week since then.
Ashby’s is an extremely narrow takeout-only deli. Only 10 feet across, they pack in a long row of coffee makers, panini grills, and a salad station next to another row of registers, sandwich prep and soup display, leaving very little room for their customers. The prices make the trip worthwhile.
For breakfast, they offer a large coffee for $1.95 (not quite Starbucks, but better than the office Keurig), omelets for $4.25, and oatmeal for $2.
The lunch rush can be absurd due to the high school across the street and the narrow space. Be prepared to stand in line with teenagers ordering bagels with cream cheese and bacon. Each station (salad, soup, and sandwich) has its own line, which is very confusing the first time you stop in.
Lunch includes make-your-own salads with unlimited toppings starting at $3.95, at least six different soups every day, paninis, wraps and sandwiches. I recommend the hot Turkey Cobb Panini – turkey, avocado, blue cheese, bacon, tomato and romaine lettuce.
The staff looks clean and professional in blue dress shirts with yellow striped ties. They are very friendly, but that might be because they see me so often?