15 years ago when I first got familiar with the area, I couldn’t name two decent sandwiches. Well, I could actually, but they would not have made this list today. Times, as they say, “They Are A-Changin'”, as the area is suddenly flooded with all sorts of well crafted sandwiches that even tourists should target. If I miss a big one here, please share. But as far as I know these are some of the best and most unique sandwiches in Hell’s Kitchen and in some cases NYC. And to make it just a little bit more interesting, I gave them awards!
The Dolly Parton Award- IL VIP at Sergimmo Salumeria. A most excellent sweet sandwich featuring robust raw materials. Prosciutto Crudo from Parma, homemade mozzarella, Arcadian mix, EV olive oil and a lovely fig spread from Casa Giulia. On the sweet side of things like Dolly’s smile, and so not for everyone.
The Bill Clinton Award – Philly Cheesesteak at Shorty’s. Given to a most outstanding sandwich that comes with the occasional strange urge to pull down your pants even though the thing looks sort of sloppy and unattractive. Get it the way it was intended. With Whiz, “Wit” onions, and mushrooms. I’ve had it in Philly and this is the real deal
The Me Love You Long Time Award – Dave at City Sandwich. A great all around sandwich with top notch ingredients that is best enjoyed slowly with a glass of wine or Manischewitz. This beauty features an ample amount of fresh minced sausage, chili pepper, garlic, olive oil, melted mozzarella, and peppers, and the Portuguese bread from across the river cant be beat
The Oom Pa Loom Pa Award – Banh Mi Cha Ca at Co Ba 53. Given to the best sandwich with the least amount of syllables. Historically given to a Banh Mi. Hanoi-style fish, usually means “Catfish” or “I cant believe its not Catfish” Swai, Basa, or other Catfish-like creatures, with fresh dill, onion, mayo, jalapenos, and house-made pickles on a French baguette. Not only easy to pronounce but tastes great
The Kim Kardashian Award – Pig’s Ass Sandwich at Casellula. Nuff Said!
(Note: its the only sandwich on the list that I never actually had, but its very popular and a shoe in for this category. IL VIP at Sergimmo Salumeria with its robust raw materials was another candidate
The If You Build It They Will Come, And Come Again, When Weather Permits, Because Its Too Far Award – Pork shoulder at Court Street Grocers (Gotham West Market). Given to a most outstanding well crafted sandwich that is a leader in its kind but a little bit out of the way. Pork shoulder confit, mayo, provolone, broccoli rabe, pickled red peppers inside a terrific Caputo (Brooklyn) hero. If you ask me, I think the name of the award is too long, but hey I don’t make the rules.
The You Say Shawarma, I Say Shawarma Too Award – Shawarma Sandwich at Azuri. Award given to the best Shawarma!
Note: Azuri is a 2 time “No Soup For You” winner. Recent reports of Ezra smiling or even happy are most likely greatly exaggerated (I still think its gas) but I can no longer put him in that category which is not around anymore as everyone is unfortunately friendly these days or faking their unfriendliness for gimmicky purposes. “Hey look at me I’m so unfriendly, tell your friends, start calling me the muffin Nazi, bla bla bla”
The Breaky Bad Award – Bench Girl at City Sandwich. Given to the best breakfast sandwich. This one features Portuguese Alheira sausage, Grilled Onions, Spinach, Melted Mozzarella and Olive Oil. Available all day, every day. Now lets see if they change the name to Breaky Bad from Bench Girl before any use of online petitions. Bench Girl sounds boring and borderline insulting if you ask me.
The Carlos Danger Award – Pig’s Head Cuban at The Cannibal (Gotham West Market). Given to a great sandwich that is especially selfie/twitter/instagram worthy in all its glory. Pigs head terrine, ham, gruyere, mayo, pickle. Perhaps the hottest sandwich in Hell’s Kitchen at the moment.
The Barack Hussein Obama Award - City Sandwich. A lifetime achievement award given to the top overall sandwich maker. Last year’s Miss Congeniality winner takes top honors this year. A Pioneer and a leader in the Sandwich making business. Well deserved! (ps. I’m expecting this mention on the window at City Sandwich in no time. As my mom used to tell me “if you got them, flaunt them”. A bumper sticker “I got a sandwich award on EatingWithZiggy will do as well)
Big Big Mazal Tov to all the winners!