Local deli looking to bring taste of New York to Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An east coast transplant wanted to give folks in Fresno a taste of New York.

Famous Ray's deli across from Bulldog Stadium was already drawing brisk business.

One look at the packed display, and you could see they have the meats to stack a sandwich.

"Like using pancetta, all the different capicolas and the prosciuttos." explained owner Debbie Harkness.

Catering Manager Chris Green prepared the food and was also responsible for some of the "Sandlot" themed sandwiches, like "The Heater" and "The Great Hambino."

Harkness said, "We have New York pastrami. That's the big huge sandwich just like you would have in New York. We make our own pastrami. We also are making our own roast beef."

Harkness moved to the valley 20 years ago from upstate New York, above Syracuse.

She has missed the food, and she wanted to pass along her father's sausage recipe. That's why the place is called Famous Ray's deli.

Debbie said, "Ray is my father. He actually had a sausage school that he set up at his house."

Sausage and meatballs are the house specialty. Debbie also prepares take-home meals and soup.

Harkness works as a marriage and family therapy counselor but has always found cooking therapeutic.

Debbie said, "This is my passion. This is what I do for fun. I cook so to do this brought New York here."

Harkness added her sausage would also be perfect for tailgate parties across the street come football season.
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