Bro’s Sandwiches: Deli Favorites and a Taste of the Mediterranean

With so many delis in Montclair, Mohamad and Defne, owners of Bro’s Sandwiches in Upper Montclair, knew they had a take a fresh approach. “What separates us is all of our homemade Mediterranean dishes,” says Defne, whose family comes from Turkey. Mohamad, whose family comes from Lebanon, together with his aunt and Defne, cook all the Mediterranean dishes from scratch.

Take a look at their menu and you’ll see what Defne is talking about. Along with the standard deli fare–chicken, steak, ham and pastrami sandwiches ($7-9) and paninis ($7), Bro’s offers homemade Mediterranean fare that include Kisir ($6), a savory and satisfying dish made with bulgur wheat, cooked onions and tomatoes, Sigara Bourek ($5), thin bread rolled around feta cheese then fried and Kibbeh ($1.75 each), another Turkish dish that features a Bulghur wheat and meat shell that’s fried around a center of ground beef and onions.

The welcoming storefront deli can please whatever culinary mood you’re in — traditional or adventurous. Start your day with an omelet (cheese, veggie or with three toppings from the salad bar, $4-8) or a flaky croissant with egg, cheese and your choice of bacon, turkey bacon or sujuk–a spicy sausage made from beef or lamb ($5). Or choose from a number of Mediterranean breakfast specials — a croissant, bagel or simit (circular Turkish bread with sesame seeds) with Bro’s homemade olive and feta spread ($5); labneh (a cheese made from strained yogurt) wrap with Zaatar (Mediterranean spices like toasted sesame seeds, thyme, marjoram, oregano and lemon), olives, boiled eggs, cucumbers and olive mortadella ($7) and Simit with Kashar cheese ($4).

For lunch, we choose the beef shawarma wrap ($9) which came with a generous portion of beef and a tasty combination of onions, turnips, parsley and pickles. A great vegetarian choice – the falafel wrap ($8) — was enlivened by tangy tahini. We loved the Musakka ($4), blend of roasted eggplant, green peppers, garlic, onion and chickpeas in a tomato sauce. A nice surprise — Bro’s Sandwiches offers two kinds of grape leaves ($6), Lebanese (lemony) and Turkish (in tomato sauce).

Build your own big salad starting with romaine, mixed greens or spinach and add fixings including cucumbers, carrots, Kalamata olives, chickpeas, scallions, mozzarella balls, feta cheese avocado, beets, walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes and raisins.

One of Defne’s favorite dishes is Bro’s panini — an original creation of hers. She tried it out on Mohamad and after good reviews they put it on their menu. It includes breaded chicken with basil, peppers, mozzarella and a sauce made with Mediterranean spices, nuts and lemon.

Bro’s Sandwiches has outdoor seating and the staff is prompt and caring. Eight years of running a deli in Astoria Queens taught Mohamad how to treat his customers right. The town has welcomed Bro’s according to Defne. “Montclair has been great. People are open to trying new stuff.”

Bro’s Sandwiches at 206 Bellevue Avenue, 973 744-0957, is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Check them out on Instagram at Brossandwichess.

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.