Since Tuller opened I have been making a running comparison between it and Veranda Deli.
Tuller is the hands down winner for bread. Beyond that, things are less clearcut. Tuller also has the better selection of cheese, but I think Veranda's is also pretty good--though it isn't as well displayed. Veranda is fairly close on condiments too, though they are spread around a rather ramshakle store and require more looking.
On reflection, I give Veranda the edge for sandwiches. Tuller's are on better bread, and are more artfully prepared. But Veranda prepares its own ham, turkey and roast beef. Combined with their cheeses, good bread, and whatever else you may want, there's just more bang for the buck. And your chocies aren't limited to the 2 or 3 made that day (as they are at Tuller).
For dinner takeout I give Veranda a big edge. Sure, Tuller often has Jameson Farm pork (if you want to spend $16 a pound) or roast lamb, and both places have chicken. But Veranda seems to have a greater variety of affordable dishes. On a rotating basis they have veal stew, ribs and terrific meatloaf. And they try new things: last week I walked in to find chicken mole. I figured that if they would try making it, I'd try eating it. It was good too--not Pedro Paramo, but we're talking Cobble Hill takeout here.
I try to avoid taking quasi-ideological positions on commercial issues. I'm happy Tuller has arrived and will certainly buy from them many times. But the comparison has renewed my appreciation of an old and trusted neighbor.
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