Best Deli - 2010
Buena Vista Deli
All right, so this place isn't a Latin American musical mecca in the heart of Havana. Hell, it's not even in Little Havana. Nor is it a social club. And no, you won't find Juan de Marcos González shaking maracas while downing a pastrami on rye here either. In fact, if you can find a knish, a Dr. Brown's soda, or a black-and-white cookie being consumed anywhere inside of this cheery, French-influenced delicatessen, we'll rewrite the Torah and say that you, not Moses, parted the Red Sea. That's because you won't find any New York-style staples in the Buena Vista Deli — from its yellow-umbrellaed porch to its clean, white interior that includes blackboard cabinets scribbled with colorful chalk. But what you will discover is fresh, fragrant slices of goat cheese and mushroom quiche ($4.95), rich duck pâté spread on a French baguette ($6.50), grilled chicken panini overflowing with pesto and sautéed portobello mushrooms ($7.50), and a Niçoise salad packed with ample amounts of hard-boiled eggs, tuna, anchovies, and green beans ($7 for a large). Can't decide? BVD has great combo options such as any sandwich/panini with any salad or soup du jour for only $10.50 or any quiche and salad for $7.50. Or if you feel like indulging your sweet tooth, tame it with a delicate but piled-high cream puff ($3.50), a chocolate eclair ($3.50), or any of the baked-daily goods displayed by the cash register in a pastel array reminiscent of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. Plus everything available for purchase at this place, other than the bread, is homemade, which is enough to make any Cuban utter, "Oy vey!"