Se-Port Deli, 301 Main St East Setauket, NY 11733
The time finally came and I sentenced my body to a bacon-induced coma following a romp round the silo of excess sap collected from the Tree of Life itself. That’s Se-Port Deli for you.
I really wanted to walk there because I knew the results of eating a sub as massive as the one Se-Port puts out would prove to be disastrous. My ass would’ve gotten flabby on the car ride home and my tummy would’ve sported an alien brick baby tough enough to make Sigourney Weaver swoon.
Inside, a gaggle of locals wait in a line that starts at the back of the shop- The firewall is set up with a menu that spans across the entire wall- at least 40 different kinds of sandwiches. In instances such as these, I automatically eliminate any sandwich that doesn’t have ‘bacon’ listed as one of its main ingredients. Here at Se-Port, that doesn’t help. Literally everything does, Lord help me. You could try to look away- out of the overwhelming position you’re in to choose just one sandwich- but it doesn’t do you any good, as looking down or at either side of you you’re bombarded with giant dishes of side options such as buffalo chicken salad with bacon or potato salad with bacon or really thing in the world you thought that was delicious in the World- they’ve got it, and they’re calling it a salad, and they’re topping it with a dressing and a cheese and a pound of chopped bacon sprinkled all over it.
I’ve had Se-Port once before, with Bethany, when we had gone to the Hamptons. This was right after getting an onion bagel with scallion cream cheese so I may have had my carbo-load-up for the entire month that one trip- but for now, I’m working off of a small cup of oatmeal and a hundred push-ups and sit-ups. I’m like a bear or giraffe or something, ready to pounce for my food.
I order the Port Jeff. it’s described on the menu as having chicken cutlet, bacon, muenster cheese, tomato, potato salad, and russian dressing.
I also order a cup of their homemade iced tea that is brewed in house and sweetened just perfectly. That comes right away.
And then for the next ten minutes, I’m waiting in a hot mess looking just like this:
And we’re waiting.
And then I see it- coming down the lane, a paper-wrapped torpedo congruent to Zeus’ schlong- chicken scratch writing spells out ‘Port Jeff’. The runner at the counter doesn’t even say the name and I grab it from him.
And dart for the car.
But it’s too far.
It’s three damn spaces too far and I haven’t even taken a picture of the Deli’s exterior yet.
We get into the car. And I hold it. It weighs twice as much as a Chipotle burrito. I’ve got hold to the left end, a third of it encased in my hand- and still, I can feel the weight of the rest of the sandwich pulling me down like the Titanic before it split- I take a picture:
There it is.
I get into the car and we drive home and pack as quickly as possible so we could get back on the road and sip on some iced tea and chomp down on half of the sandwich knowing the other half’ll have to last until Monday morning with a cup of WaWa Colombian Roast-
We’re in. And on the road.
And I open it up.
There is is.
Allow me to go LAYER by LAYER–
1) Melted muenster cheese
2) Russian Dressing
2) Fried chicken- cut up
5) Potato Salad
6) Russian Dressing
It’s seemingly unclear to me how else I am supposed to describe this meal aside from the fact that it is absolutely perfect. To this day, it remains my favorite sandwich of all time. The Russian Dressing and Tomato make sure that every single bite into the chicken is as moist and tender and juicy as all the rest, and if for any reason, at a fraction of a second they weren’t doing their job- all of that sweat coming out of the bacon would’ve stepped up and done just fine.
It is a mess. And it is drippy.
It was actually Bethany’s Father who said ‘It isn’t a meal until it gets all over you’. I don’t know to what extent I believe in this- but I do know that eating a sandwich is a craft. You’ve gotta work with what you’ve got after every single bite you take, you gotta think on your feet while you’re devouring, feeling which angle you gotta bite or turn your sandwich so that no matter what happens, you’re getting the most outta everything that handful of meat is promising you: prosperity.
I’m a skilled craftsman, however. I manage to not spill a single bit of it while Bethany’s Dad is speeding along the Long Island freeway back to Manhattan.
I’m finally back in my apartment.
I’m sipping on a protein shake and then speeding along to Crunch to work off some leftover Sconset Muffin hanging over my belt.