Duane Reade Sandwich

Duane Reade Sandwich

I ate a sandwich from a drugstore. No, no, it’s not the one that Zach declined. This was a different sandwich from a different drug store. If you don’t live in New York City, then you’re not familiar with Duane Reade drugstores. They’re basically the local version of Walgreen/CVS. Drugstores have sort of turned into convenience stores these days, selling everything from condoms to beer to sunglasses. Yup. Convenience. Someone should tell the owners of Duane Reade to open up in Cancun (Mexico) and Destin, FL. They started renovating their stores late last year and I noticed today that they actually have pre-wrapped sandwiches. Of course I had to eat this.

To be completely fair to Zach, these sandwiches have date on them, so you know when you should consume them. Today the date said 3/12 so I’m guessing these sandwiches don’t have a long shelf life. This is a good thing because you know they don’t keep them on the shelf for a long time.

They actually have a wide selection of sandwiches. They’re separated by brands, there’s some no name brand I’ve never heard of with a green sticker, and then there are some sandwiches from Eli Zabar’s, which is a gourmet grocery store in the UES. There are around eight different Eli Zabar sandwiches and I only trust those because the other brand sounds completely random. Some are really quite small, and the ones with meat are all $6.50. I picked the biggest looking one because if you’re going to buy a sandwich from a drugstore, you at least want to feel full after. Why? Because this shit ain’t gonna taste good, you should at least be sated.

Before I tell you what this sandwich tasted like, let’s review the possible scenarios and reactions to this sandwich:

  • A. What? This is pre-packaged. I’ll be lucky to make it out of this alive.
  • B. This is gonna be so good that I’ll want to high five myself in the middle of the street.
  • C. Meh. It’s lunch. whatever.

I really hoped for B, but the real outcome was C. This sandwich wasn’t bad, considering it’s pre-wrapped and it’s inside a friggin drugstore. I mean, it’s Duane Reade. I’ve been living in New York for nine years and this is the first time I’ve seen them have sandwiches. Clearly, this is not a sandwich shop. My expectations aren’t very high.

It sort of tastes like any other deli sandwich I could make at home. At home, I rarely use baguettes as the bread component. Otherwise, the rest of the ingredients taste exactly as if I had just gone to a super market and bought some salami, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and mayo.

This is the sort of thing you would buy in a pinch. It’s ok enough tasting that you wouldn’t hate yourself. But it’s just so ordinary that I don’t know why anyone would ever bother buying this on a regular basis. The Eli Zabar sticker on the sandwich will probably help sales, but for $6.50, you’re better off spending your money somewhere else. The other thing is, they haven’t finished renovating all the Duane Reades, so I doubt they’ll all carry sandwiches in the future. The one I visited was on 34th and 8th, a very popular 24hr Duane Reade. That particular one would probably have it, but some random DR somewhere on a less busy street might not have sandwiches in the future.

If you really want a sandwich, you’re better off splurging for some duck pastrami or going old school with some chicken parm hero. And if you really want to mix it up, make sure you check out the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge

Posted by Danny on March 13, 2009 at 4:27 am

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