By now, you probably know that not all of the spots reviewed on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site are actually restaurants; indeed, some are bakeries such as Clear Flour in Brookline, others are dive bars such as Home Cafe in Brockton, and still others are markets such as Bob's in South Medford, though the common thread is that they all serve food. And it is this last category that is the focus here, as New Deal Fruit in Revere sounds like anything but a restaurant--and it isn't--but this neighborhood food shop happens to have some of the best sandwiches in the entire Boston area, rivaling Bob's and some legendary places in the North End and East Boston, which is saying a lot.
New Deal is located just south of the rotary where Routes 60 and 107 meet (also known as Brown Circle) on the section of Broadway that leads into center of the city. The squat, sprawling building in which the place resides looks a bit like a mini-warehouse from the outside--albeit a colorful one--and even more like one once you step into the place, with a bare-bones look and a simple setup of wide aisles containing produce, soda, candy, and various goods imported from Italy such as pasta, olive oil, cheeses, bread (including a classic scali bread), herbs and spices, and more. To the far left of the entrance is a deli counter that tends to be the busiest part of the store--and which is the focus of this review.
If you like Italian-style sandwiches--or any kind of sandwiches, for that matter--the deli at New Deal is a pretty special place. Some truly incredible versions of Italian subs, meatball subs, eggplant subs, and chicken parm subs can be found here, and their specialty subs are over the top in some cases but every bit as great as the more traditional subs. A few highlights among the specialty subs include the Marco Pollo, which has chicken cutlets, broccoli rabe, and provolone; the North Ender, which is made up of their wonderful meatballs, eggplant parm, grated cheese, and tomato sauce; the spectacular Grand Slam, which has roast beef, fries, onion rings, chicken cutlets, mozzarella sticks, cheese, and BBQ sauce; and the Tony Soprano, which comes with hot or sweet capocollo, provolone, and vinegar peppers. The aforementioned Italian sub can be ordered as a regular Italian, a special Italian, or a Top Shelf, with even the regular Italian being better than most versions in and around Boston, while the special Italian is, well, something special. The help behind the counter could perhaps be described as "colorful," with lots of snark, good humor, and quick-witted comments, though if it is busy, it is perhaps best to know exactly what you want before you actually get picked to order.
New Deal Fruit is one of those places that doesn't get much press, but is a neighborhood favorite that locals go to on a weekly (or even a daily) basis. It may not have much atmosphere--and its deli area is strictly takeout only, but if you have a weakness for good subs, it is tough to find a place any better than this.
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