I dropped by Herb's Market to pick up lunch today. As they finished making my sandwiches, the woman said "Wait, you're the guy who wrote about us!"
Confused, I said "Uh...no I'm not."
She replied, "Yes you are, I never forget a face."
I thought back hard. "Did I say something nice?"
The woman shook her head and said, "No. You called us stupid."
It dawned on me that she had probably seen my critique of their long-gone fried chicken sign, which said "4 pieces, $4.00. 8 pieces, $8.00. 12 pieces, $12.00" on up to something like 47,200 pieces for $47,200.00. I pointed out then that the sign could've been shortened to "Fried chicken, $1.00 a piece."
Well, let me set the record straight right now. I apologize for anything I said that might've implied anything negative about Herb's Market in any way. Herb's is not stupid. Herb's is a great deli.
One of the things I like about Montauk is that the food isn't just an afterthought, and it's not just because I'm grotesquely obese. Life's too short to waste on crappy meals from Burger King, which is why I enjoy places like Herb's. I get sandwiches there almost every day when I'm out here.
To prove that I love them, and to provide pointers for others looking for good food in Montauk, here are the top ten things I like about Herb's.
1. Their fried chicken is reeeeeeally good. It's exceptional, with just the right salty touch in the batter. You can get it from the hot bar or order your own for big picnics. It's worth $5 a piece, which is what they'll probably charge me next time they see me.
2. They make really good BLTs. Tons of crispy bacon, fresh lettuce (not iceberg!), and plump tomatoes. You know when you get tomato on a sandwich and you end up taking it off because it's pale pink and chewy? We've never had one like that at Herb's.
3. They have homemade potato salad and macaroni salad that's about an order of magnitude better than what you'll find at a place like the IGA.
4. They sell Tate's cookies.
5. They always have good crunchy snacks, like Salsitos, and more importantly they have Irish crisps.
6. They have a bunch of good marinades, which work well with the prime meats they sell.
7. They hand-trim the meat that you get from their counter, even trimming the gunky membrane stuff off boneless breasts.
8. Every sandwich I've had there has been thick with meat. They don't skimp on anything, and their cold cuts are never weird-tasting or fatty. It's like the opposite of Quizno's. I suggest the chicken cutlet with swiss, lettuce, and tomato on rye with Russian.
9. They make really good smoothies in the back, near the hot bar. And unlike most places, not all their smoothies have banana in them.
10. They let me buy the sandwiches today, even though I evidently called them stupid once. Which I didn't mean to.
When you want to pick up sandwiches for the beach, or meats for the BBQ, nothing's better than Herb's Market in Montauk. They go great with an afternoon at Gin Beach.