Even with the constant Air NZ flight sales, many of us can't afford to fly to New York to absorb in the American atmosphere and taste the famous diner cuisine. That's where Federal Street Delicatessen comes in. At the end of Federal Street tucked into a cozy corner lies a little shop ripped right out of 1960's New York, and wedged into Auckland's Federal Street. And yes it comes complete with waitresses in pastel green diner outfits, retro looking booth seating and the good ol’ American style tucker- straight out of Manhattan.
Once you walk in through the frosted doors, you have a few choices of seating: at the bar, face-to-face with the open kitchen, in the dim back corner, or in the booth seating befitting of all occasions- be it a first date, dining alone or an after work get together. No matter where you sit, one of the first things you’ll notice is a wall of spinning chickens on rotisserie. That, amongst other things, you won’t find in any Auckland restaurant, is what half the Fed Deli experience is about. The whole visual and sensual package of feeling like you’ve been transported out of Auckland’s daily grind.
Photo Cred Here
The other half of what makes the experience is the food. If Denny’s has scarred you from diner food with their lukewarm plates of all day breakfasts, let the food here change your opinion. Al Brown is the wizard that adds flair and magic to the usual. I like turkey and I like meatloaf, but little did I know they made such a delectable combo- especially with an apple and mustard salad. Things here on the menu might make you do a double take; I mean what the hell are bagel dumplings in chicken soup?! But when you order them and try it out you’d wonder why you didn’t try it sooner. Sitting and spying on what was happening inside the open kitchen, I saw that “Toasted Reuben” was the dish so much in demand, that it was made almost continuously. Best damn toasted sandwich I’ve had in my life. On the other hand, the spit roasted chicken maybe acts better as a theme decoration; a chicken that sits roasting for a day becomes dryer than my jokes. And don't forget to try the "Montreal Poutine"- chips with gravy and cheese curd, they tell you to trust them on that one. As for desserts (yes I did try them all, though not in one sitting), the banana and toffee (Banoffee) pie not only looked the part, but it also tasted as good as the one your grandmother bakes.
Photo Cred Here
If you haven’t noticed yet, there’s this massive fascination of Americana phenomena in Auckland recently, with a sudden explosion of eateries boasting an American theme. If you want in on this latest trend but don’t know where to go, make sure Federal Street Delicatessen is your first stop. It’s your trip to New York you don’t need your passport for; just maybe bring your Driver’s License so you can refresh yourself on one of the Fed’s cheekily named cocktails like the Madhatten! Definitely worth a visit, make an occasion out of it.
Title Image Cred here