Behind every Mike's Deli sandwich is a cold pasta salad. Today's, tinged green with pesto, sported an odd lot of at least three different pasta shapes. I'd always thought of it as perfunctory (and haven't shown it here), but on reflection I have a theory about its presence on the plate. A buttress of pasta helps shore up a behemoth like this "Yankee Stadium Big Boy" (roll, $11.50) — which sports mortadella, ham, salami, and capicolo; heavy slices of mozzarella; lettuce, sweet peppers (or, if you prefer, hot peppers) and balsamic vinegar — and prevents the sandwich from toppling over in untimely fashion. Eventually, though, it fell to my appetite; so did the pasta salad.
2344 Arthur Ave. (East 186th St.-Crescent Ave., inside the Arthur Avenue Retail Market), Belmont, Bronx