A while ago I told a friend who is a longtime Whitestone resident that I’d just tried out the excessive 80-plus sandwich emporium that is Cherry Valley. “You gotta go to Cristina’s across the street,” came his response.
So when my pal Rocky proposed a trek to Whitestone to check out the dueling delis earlier this week I was on board immediately. On the ride over I expressed some concern about my appetite level and intestinal fortitude. “Don’t worry, we’ll strategize,” my pal reassured me.
First up was the O.G. Cherry Valley. The one good thing about going to this popular post-partying munchie spot for lunch as opposed to 3 a.m. is there’s no line, which gave us plenty of time peruse the voluminous menu.
Having wisely decided to get rolls instead of heroes, we ordered one Corona and one Fatboy. I went for the Fatboy first since it was new to me. The combination of grilled roast beef, fried onions, and mozzarella bathed in brown gravy on garlic bread was a great way to start an afternoon of sandwich indulgence. For a creation called the Fatboy it was somewhat dainty. Not so the Corona, though. It was just as I remembered: smoky crisp bacon, chicken cutlet, cheddar, and onion rings anointed with tangy barbecue sauce made for an excessive finale to my Cherry Valley revisit.
Across from Cherry Valley sits Cristina’s with its awning done up in Mets colors of orange and blue. “The menu seems more creative,” Rocky said as we went over the 80-plus sandwich roster noting the use of spicy fries. Ultimately we went with the Heart Attack (chicken cutlet, mozzarella, spicy French fries, onion rings, bacon, and Cristina’s special sauce) and El Diablo (chicken cutlet, mozzarella cheese, French fries, coleslaw, Cristina’s chipotle, and Sriracha.) The Heart Attack was pretty much as promised, a real gut buster, while the Diablo was quite fiery, in the best of all possible ways and kept us coming back for more.
We did not go into our sandwich adventure with the intention of judging one over the other, but I would give a slight edge to Cristina’s because the sandwiches were bigger and somewhat more creative.
Ultimately I guess further research is needed, but it is all a matter of taste in the end. One thing that we agreed on is that Forest Hills/Rego Park could use a creative sandwich spot. That said I am curious to know, do you prefer Cherry Valley over Cristina’s? Let me know in the comments!
Cherry Valley Deli & Grill, 12-29 150th St., Whitestone, 718-767-1937
Cristina’s Deli and Grill, 12-37 150th St., Whitestone, 718-357-6055