Backstage Deli: A Midtown Disaster

Date December 12, 2007


NYC Food Guy felt like a matador while walking around Times Square Saturday night, dodging hoards of stampeding tourists blinded by the flashing red lights of NYC. I was only in the area by pure necessity, scheduled to work at my real job; no self respecting New Yorker would venture to these parts in December. NYC Food Guy was feeling perturbed enough to not make the 3 block “trek” to Lenny’s for a sandwich to accompany my Katz’s chicken soup. Instead, on the recommendation of a co-worker, I went over to Backstage Deli on 49th St. b/t 6th and 7th Ave. (next door to Bella Napoli) where I had one of the worst sandwiches of my life.


That orange, yellow stuff in the middle, that’s actually lettuce & Russian.

I know Backstage is only one block before Lenny’s but I’ll admit, I got my hopes up at the thought of finding another reliable option in the barren wasteland that is Midtown food. I should have known the minute I walked in and saw nothing but tourists that this was trouble. I should have ran for the hills when I saw the handfuls or pre-cut Turkey and the uncovered hero rolls sitting on top of the counter. But I didn’t. I wanted to believe my friend.

What I ordered: Oven Roasted Turkey, bacon well done, melted cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and Russian. It was all ice cold by the time I got back to my office, the cheese had turned hard, the bread even staler. I tried to revive it with a couple of seconds in the microwave, that only made it taste worse. Awful.

What I got: Pre-cut pile of Turkey ripped up and spread around stale hero, Swiss cheese, fatty undercooked bacon, yellow iceberg lettuce, end of tomato slices, watery Russian.

Redeeming factor: A small bag of Lays Original was thrown into the container with my sandwich; these chips became my dinner.

Other disappointment: The pickle I ordered was dry and tasted funky. My friend ordered a burger and when I saw it, it looked like the most generic defrosted on the grill beef patty and worst of all it was served with Hunts Ketchup, blasphemy to ketchup eaters.

***In summation: Stale hero roll, pre-cut turkey, the wrong cheese, no regard given to well done bacon request, old gross lettuce, and as you can see from the picture, the construction of the sandwich is comparable to something made by a blind person, no offense to blind sandwich makers. Everything Backstage Deli could have done wrong, they did.

NYC Food Guy will NEVER go to Backstage Deli again.

Backstage Deli

148 W. 49th St. nr. 7th Ave.

(212) 398-0581

9 Responses to “Backstage Deli: A Midtown Disaster”

  1. Tahlia said:

    Thats the reason why I never buy sammiches. You’re never guaranteed that it will be amazing. Hope the next one is better for you

  2. Lenny’s Smoked Chicken Deluxe: Delicious & Reliable « NYC Food Guy said:

    […] NYC Food Guy Bringing the pleasure of food to life. « Backstage Deli: A Midtown Disaster […]

  3. Midtown Lunch » Midtown Links (The More Spanish Food in a Blimpie Edition) said:

    […] Profiled Midtown Lunch’er Lawrence (aka Superman) has a terrible sandwich at The Backstage De…[NYCFoodGuy] […]

  4. DubbininBklyn said:

    Walked past there a bunch of times. No way would I ever eat there..

  5. Regular New Yorker said:

    You eat worst sandwich???
    Oh! Please!!!
    You just need to make a commercial to another food places in Manhattan, where is the rent for bussines space is sky-high an they need somebody like you to write a nasty rewiews on another food places.
    Who knows when you got to your office, maybe this sandwich was in your bag for a few hours.
    The rolls on the counter you can see everywhere as the same construction of the sandwiches.
    And another question? Who You are to judge many another people who live in New York by saying “no self respecting New Yorker would venture to these parts in December”.
    There is some news for You!
    I was there many times and the food is very good.The same as many another people who live in NYC, work in NYC and have a “real jobs” no less real then Yours.
    “NYC Food Guy will NEWER go to Backstage Deli again.”???
    Don’t go! Does anybody pressure You to do so?
    Many self respecting people (New Yorkers and tourists) going to continue buy food there even after your nasty,foolish rewiew.
    So, what about this???
    Many regular New Yorkers with “real jobs” not going to belive NYC Food Guy rewiews EVER again.

  6. forumguy said:

    Regular New Yorker, you sound like Backstage deli owner…

  7. The NYC Food Guy said:


    Looks like we got the last laugh, though I wouldnt wish it on any business, backstage deli is out of business…

  8. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Too funny. “Regular New Yorker” reads like an Andy Kaufman “Foreign Man” bit. Try reading it aloud.

    And forumguy’s right.

  9. Anonymous said:

    I’m glad they went out of business. I used to work there when I was a teenager about 17 years old and the owner was 52 years old and would sexually harass me because I needed a job and he knew I didn’t have documents so he took advantage of me and many other young waitresses. I hate him. He made my life hell back then

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