“I’m going to take you to a real Queens institution,” my pal said. “Someplace you’ve never been. When we pulled up to the corner I saw a spot I’ve been hearing about for years, Cherry Valley Deli & Grill. For a guy who’s tasked himself with writing about sandwiches every Wednesday it’s amazing I’ve never been to this neighborhood institution boasting more than 80 sandwiches with fanciful names like the Bushman (chicken cutlet with bacon, brown gravy and American cheese on a toasted garlic hero) and the Z-Zoo (grilled chicken with bacon, mozzarella, nonion rings, and brown gravy on a toasted garlic hero).
Since it’s called out as one of the joint’s signature sandwiches I went for #10-Corona Hero. This less than dainty number consists of a fried chicken cutlet, bacon, Cheddar cheese, onion rings, and barbecue sauce on a toasted garlic hero. It’s a tasty behemoth. “Wow, I haven’t had commercial barbecue sauce in years,” I exclaimed as I bit into what it is no doubt a stoner’s delight.
In my younger, stonier days I’d have taken the whole thing down in one sitting, but we both decided to save the other half of our heroes for dinner. I blame it on the fact that we ordered “the couch,” which consists of French fries topped with gravy and cheese. I like to think that it’s so named because after eating it you won’t want to get off the couch.
Cherry Valley, 12-29 150 St., Whitestone, 718-767-1937