The latest stop on my quest to find the perfect sandwich is the Millburn Deli, open since 1946.
Located in downtown Millburn, this American deli is often jam-packed at lunch time, sometimes with a line out the door. Inside, there are colorful hand-written menu boards, vintage signs, wicker baskets full of potato chips and a model airplane hanging from the ceiling. Its all visually stimulating to the say the least. In addition to the Millburn Delis large variety of different sandwiches, salads, wraps and sides, it also offers homemade iced tea, coffee and cookies. While the deli area is small, there is another section next door with a large, comfortable dine-in area. Soon, Millburn Deli is expanding, with a second location opening in Morristown sometime later this year.
I ordered the Godfadda, the Gobbler, and a New Jersey-style Sloppy Joe. When I asked what sandwich was the most popular, the unanimous answer was the Godfadda. It features chicken cutlet, bacon, and sliced mozzarella with Russian dressing on a pressed sub roll. With the first bite, I immediately noticed the crispy textures of the pressed roll, which was thin and crunchy. The chicken cutlet was well-breaded but a little soggy and not as crispy as I had hoped. But the bacon gave the sandwich a salty punch and the mozzarella and creamy Russian dressing complimented it well. Overall, this sandwich was delicious. It had a strong bread to filling ratio and it wouldve been close to perfection if the chicken was crispier and had less Russian dressing.
The Gobbler included roast turkey, homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, lettuce, mayo and black pepper on rye. Let me note that when I ordered the Gobbler, someone behind the counter honked a vintage bike-horn hanging from the ceiling and the entire staff shouted in unison, Goooblerrr! It was amazing. Ive never been a huge fan of Thanksgiving sandwiches but the Gobbler was a pleasant surprise. The rye tasted soft and fresh and even though the stuffing was slightly bland, it paired well with the turkey and sweet, chunky cranberry sauce. The lettuce and mayo on the bottom gave the sandwich a refreshing finish. All of the Gobblers components worked well together, but it was a little top-heavy. The first layers of the sandwich had so many soft and wet elements that it could fall apart easily.
I couldnt leave Millburn Deli without trying a roast beef New Jersey-style Sloppy Joe. The triple-decker sandwich had roast beef, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing on three pieces of rye bread. Unlike the Town Hall Deli in South Orange, where the Sloppy Joe is cut into thin crustless squares, Millburn Delis Sloppy Joe is cut into big, chunky thirds. The rye was soft and the roast beef was slightly juicy. The top and middle layers of cheese and brined coleslaw were soaked in Russian dressing and gave the sandwich a slight tang. The sandwich was solid but it needed a second layer of meat on the top. It definitely lived up to the name.
From the bright atmosphere inside to the fresh, homemade sandwiches, the Millburn Deli is definitely a staple. While I enjoyed everything I ordered, I felt that they all couldve used less dressing. I know the Joe was supposed to be wet and sloppy, but it was a little too much. Still, with such a large, varied menu, theres so many sandwiches to try at the Millburn Deli. I could eat there all day.
Overall Between Two Slices Score: 4/5
Millburn Deli, 328 Millburn Avenue, Millburn; 973-379-5800. Open daily.