Order Up A Character

I don’t know what it is about slices of meat, cheese, and bread that is so delicious, but man, a good deli sandwich is truly something special. Luckily for me, I live in New York, which is basically a deli-lover’s paradise. Although certainly not the most upscale or glamorous of dining options, the humble delicatessen fills the vital role of offering quality working lunches, dinners, and quick meals throughout the day. Deli sandwiches quite literally fuel the workforce here in the Big Apple. While most are small and obscure, some New York delis have achieved legendary status. The Carnegie Deli, for example, was featured prominently in the Woody Allen movie Broadway Danny Rose and has been frequented by celebrities for decades. No matter how you slice it (what a tasty pun that is), delis are as iconic as the Empire State Building and, let’s face it, much more important.

Continuing with the get-out-and-write theme from last Wednesday’s prompt, today’s prompt explores another facet of New York City: the deli counter, and the people who work there.

With pen and paper in hand, make your way to your local deli. Order your favorite sandwich, as usual, but this time pay attention to the person or people who take your order and make your sandwich. What’s it like to be behind the deli counter? What or who do you think they’ve seen during the day? Build a character from your brief, but well-studied, interaction.


  1. I love the connection of delis and daily life. Delis are an oasis. They nourish us with comfort food but also feed our souls as we reconnect with family and friends

  2. Love this prompt. I’ve always thought it would be a great job.