Comfort Food, Damn the Calories: Miracle Mile Deli's Straw Sandwich

The Guilty Pleasure: Straw sandwich (with accoutrements) Where to Get It: Miracle Mile Deli The Cost: $10, give or take What It Really Costs: Your entire afternoon.

There are some days when you feel like you're on top of the world. Then there are those days where you want to find a high vantage point so you can tell the world to stick it where the sun don't shine. I had a couple in a row of the latter last week. It was time for serious comfort food. I could do only one thing: I hightailed it over to Miracle Mile Deli for lunch. I knew any recent efforts toward healthy eating were going right out the window, and I knew that it was going to be worth every bite.

I keep telling myself that one of these times I go to Miracle Mile, I'm going to branch out and try more of the menu. But I can't stay away from the Straw sandwich. It's a simple affair: hot pastrami, sauerkraut, and melted Swiss cheese.

Health-conscious folks may wish to try the Straw with turkey instead of pastrami; those people are crazy. A dab of horseradish from the little to-go tubs at the register brings some zip. They have several breads; you want the Straw on an onion roll. Any of the sliced breads surrender under the Straw's juicy heft.

This is a beast of a sandwich; I have to be at the edge of starvation to finish off the whole thing. My usual order is to get it as part of the Miracle Mile Special: half of a sandwich, and salad or a cup of soup. I'm partial to the matzo ball soup. While I've had better in town, Miracle Mile's gets the job done, with a light, tender matzo ball.

The sandwich usually comes with fries, but it's worth paying an extra buck for their divine macaroni and cheese. There are countless places in town that offer mac and cheese, but feel inclined to jazz it up, as if such an ordinary dish were beneath them. I'm thrilled to report Miracle Mile doesn't engage in any of that nonsense. Theirs is plain, simple, and perfect: tender elbow macaroni baked in just a little too much silky cheese sauce (which is to say, exactly as much cheese sauce as good mac and cheese should have), and nothing else. One of these times I'll remember to come in just for the mac and cheese, and leave very happy.

Fair warning: Make sure your schedule is clear after polishing off a Straw. A food coma is all but inevitable. Sure, you won't be at all productive for the rest of the day, but at least you'll nap happy.

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