When Joe's Dairy shuttered last year, New Yorkers wept. Lines snaked around the corner for a last taste of the fresh mozzarella. Television news crews did interviews, filmmakers made documentaries, and Calvin Trillin penned a eulogy in The New Yorker. (Unfortunately, he did not get word of the closure, showed up to a shuttered Joe's, and never got a final taste.)
Though Joe's closed their doors to customers, they have kept making mozzarella, selling it wholesale to restaurants around town. However, as I recently discovered, they also supply the cheese to one other place--right around the corner.
The M&O Market & Deli, at Thompson and Prince, carries the precious item in their deli case. You can walk right in and order it. You can have it in a sandwich. You can buy it whole. You can even get it delivered.
Just like at Joe's, it comes in fresh and smoked.
The M&O deli is the only place where you can get Joe's mozzarella as a retail customer. The experience isn't exactly the same, but it's good. Sinatra plays on the radio. You choose your bread from the bread cabinet. They'll even press your sandwich, making it warm.
I opted for a ball of the smoked stuff, and also had the fresh mozzarella in a sandwich, with tomatoes, which I then ate in front of Joe's darkened Dairy. Just because.
Someone, please, tell Mr. Trillin.
Joe's Dairy Vanishing
Joe's Dairy Vanished