NJ sloppy joes are not what you think. They are not manwich style loose meat sandwiches on hamburger buns that are like something out of a Happy Days episode. No no no. These are serious sandwiches. Behold:
Photo courtesy of www.staceysnacksonline.com
Yes, what you are seeing is indeed called a sloppy joe in the language of Northern New Jersey natives. It consisists of two "decks," all on rye bread. One deck holds the meat (usually turkey, roast beef or ham, but there are new school varieties that I refuse to recognize), the second deck holds swiss as well as house-made coleslaw and russian dressing. I prefer the version that is served by the deli in my hometown, although residents of other municipalities are quick to argue that their local's version is better. Do not listen to these people. I've tried other versions and they either use subpar deli meats, overcrowd the sandwich with bread sliced way too thick, or do not manage to replicate the delicate balance of flavors in Millburn Deli's secret coleslaw and dressing recipes. The true key to the Millburn sloppy joe is purchasing one that was pre-made in the morning and kept in the take-out deli case. The flavors have had a couple hours to meld together and the pickle slice that comes wrapped in with the sandwich is nice and crispy. It also MUST be paired with some of the deli's homemade iced tea. No excuses.
I also want to issue a plug for the other food provider at the shower. Gian Marco Trattoria is another favorite place to "manga" in my hometown. They provided amazing bruschetta (heavy on the onion, just how I like it), a ceasar salad with egg-free dressing for the pregnant lady, fusilli con asiago (tricolor pasta with spinach, red pepper, and garlic), and a chicken rollatini that was filled to the brim with even more spinach and cheese. The pasta leftovers are still being enjoyed in our house but the chicken rollatini got scarfed within a day.
All that food, together with a delicious custard-filled cake and a chocolate fountain, made for a pretty enjoyable cheat day for this gestational diabetic.