My mother was forced to drink milk every day so she never served milk to my brother and me. I only drink the stuff with chocolate chip cookies. But my entire family comes from the New York area, where great deli calls for a great cream soda -- and I'll drive for the soda when inspiration hits.
Drive to David's Natural Market in Columbia. A few weeks ago, Kevin & Ann Eat Everything posted about David's vegetarian cafe with a photo of Tommy's Naked Soda root beer. My mother -- the greatest beyond-the-border connoisseur of Howard County food blogs -- pointed out the photo and said that Tommy had gone to religious school with me. Tommy's mother had been in my mother's sorority. (Alpha Iota chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau in the house!) Tommy runs an all-natural soda company near Boston that offers six flavors created from cane sugar, natural flavors, and no caffeine.
The cream soda is ideal. It's a smooth creamy flavor with less fizz than a Dr. Brown's. The Doctor has always been the deli standard, but Tommy's Naked cream soda is better. Get a corned beef sandwich from the New York Deli in Columbia, and the cream soda will spark memories of New York street corners that you never actually stood on. We tried a few other Tommy's Naked flavors. They're subtle, headings towards "not that flavorful." That's a style, and they're worth trying. Personally, I'm a huge fan of products like this where you recognize every ingredient on the label, but I tend to drink soda for caffeine and to drink water with everything else.
If you go to David's, look for the Tommy's Naked Soda in a cooler near the produce. It was to the right of the cafe counter.