Eli Manning made plenty of questionable decisions in his 16 years playing quarterback for the New York Giants. But when it mattered most, he typically found a way to make things work. Hence why we remember him more for his two Super Bowl trophies than his 244 interceptions.
His foray into the world of New Jersey Sloppy Joes played out similarly.
The greatest quarterback in New York Giants history tweeted a photo two months ago of a cafeteria-style ground beef Sloppy Joe with the caption, “Hey New Jersey! Now THIS is a Sloppy Joe!”
Hey Eli, that is not a Sloppy Joe! At least, not in Jersey.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned Manwich. And the Sloppy Joe scene from “Billy Madison” is utterly hilarious. But Eli, you’re scaring us with your sandwich takes. You played 16 season in a state that has a far superior take on the sandwich. A true New Jersey Sloppy Joe features two types of meat (of your choice) with coleslaw, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing on thinly sliced rye bread. A top-tier quarterback deserves a top-tier sandwich. You’re better than this.
Maybe Eli was just trolling — he didn’t join Twitter until May of this year, but has already become a droll and hilarious follow. Either way, sandwich sanity finally prevailed Sunday when he tweeted that he not only had a proper Garden State Sloppy Joe, but that he got it from the deli serving up the best take on the sandwich in the state.
Manning tweeted (along with a fittingly Eli-esque goofy photo) that he fueled up to watch the Giants’ shocking victory over the Seattle Seahawks with a Sloppy Joe from Millburn Deli, one side of a legendary New Jersey food rivalry.
The other half is less than four miles away in South Orange — Town Hall Deli — which also makes an amazing Sloppy Joe. They both were named among the 33 best sandwich shops in America by Thrillist in the summer of 2019. And you really can’t go wrong with either.
But NJ.com’s extensive tale of the sandwich tape on the two delis last year gave the slight edge to Millburn over Town Hall. Town Hall boasts it invented the sandwich — it opened in 1927, two years after the Giants started playing football at the Polo Grounds. But Millburn, which opened in 1946, perfected it and made a sloppier, tastier Joe. Their massive, diagonally-cut, heavily dressed beauties will ruin cafeteria Sloppy Joes for you for life, knowing you could be having this delicious, elite sandwich with the same name instead.
These aren’t the only places to get a good New Jersey Sloppy Joe. Diners, delis and sandwich shops around the state, specifically in North Jersey, will make a proper Joe. But Millburn and Town Hall are the biggest names in the New Jersey Sloppy Joe game, and I’m glad Eli went to one of the best spots.
Now all we need is for Eli to check out Town Hall and give us his breakdown. Or maybe Eli eating at Millburn Deli is good luck now, and he’ll need to eat there before every game so the Giants keep miraculously winning. Either way, I’m glad that New Jersey’s best quarterback is finally eating one of New Jersey’s best sandwiches.
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