When it comes to delis, we’ve had a mixed bag of options. While there are tried and true chains like Jason’s Delicatessen, independently owned delis have had some challenges over the years. Lucky’s and Reuben’s are just some that have spun up and shut down a year or two afterwards. So I was really surprised when I heard about Mookie’s NY Deli opening up in Cary (near the Raleigh city line) in the midst of the pandemic. But I’m really glad they did since they have been hard at work, doling out some fantastic deli meats, sandwiches, and more! Here’s what to expect from this casual little deli located in Tryon Village!
Located in the sprawling Tryon Village plaza at the intersection of Walnut Street and Tryon Road, Mookie’s NY Deli sits at the western end of the complex in a one-way loop. Head on inside, Mookie’s has a narrow dining space with a bar in back and a nice patio to the side. It’s a pretty simple and utilitarian setup for casual eats. A couple of TVs behind the bar accentuate the casual feel of Mookie’s. But hey, delis are usually pretty basic so let’s focus on the food!
Grab a seat and let’s check out the menu for this place! On that front, Mookie’s is offering a lot of the standard deli eats plus some twists. For starters, try one of their bagels, imported all the way from NY! Fluffy on the inside and chewy on the outside, they get a thumbs-up from this former Northener. Another fun app option is their Lower East Side egg rolls stuffed with pastrami, sauerkraut, and mustard. Served up with some horseradish aioli, it’s a great savory starter although the shape isn’t very eggroll-ish!
As you can expect for any place that calls them a deli, the real, food action is in the sandwiches! Over-stuffed is the name of the game here and Mookie’s NY Deli does an excellent job here. Nom on the pastrami reuben which is served up on light rye bread and layered with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and dressing. It’s a handful and a half but delicious. But wait, there’s more! The Mookie’s Club is a ridiculously-sized sammich. Sliced turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato stacked in between three slices of lightly toasted white bread with a smear of mayonnaise, wow! I stared at it for a minute before finding a weak spot in the sandwich to start eating this bad-boy. While it is huge, it’s also nicely constructed and put together, plan on bringing half a sandwich home with you.
And Mookie’s classic open-faced turkey sandwich is a people pleaser. Soft, brown gravy over turkey and bread makes for a super satisfying, old-school lunch. Served with some nicely salted, skin-on fries and you’ve got yourself a great meal. Mookie’s also serves up a nice selection of Dr. Brown sodas, beers, wine, and cocktails to wash your food down with.
Overall I’m impressed with what they are doing here at Mookie’s NY Deli, the menu feels classic with excellent portion size. I had a chance to chat with the owner Ron, who signed a contract to lease the space right before the COVID pandemic started. He decided to take the plunge even with all the challenges and opened up Mookie’s in July of 2020. They’ve really worked hard to keep Mookie’s running over the past 18 months with shortages of condiments and equipment. They’ve also had to increase prices to cover the sky-rocketing costs of meat but want to keep the same dining experience and portions for their customers, all tough decisions. But thanks for taking those chances, Mookie’s! You make a mean, over-stuffed deli sandwich and I love the traditional menu. I’ll be back soon for another reuben sandwich and more great deli eats from you!