A post about Sandwiches! How exciting! John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich (Kent county, England) must be rolling (the dice) in his grave. After all, he was the one that asked his servants to bring him something, perhaps meat, between two pieces of bread, so he could hold in one hand and not interrupt his gambling. After a while, town residents started flocking to the same shop asking for “give me same as Sandwich”. Yes, the sandwich was invented by someone who thought eating was a waste of time. Granted, 250 years before the invention of the Fuku.
Sandwiches in general rarely excite. They can be good or decent, but rarely you get that ‘Ratatouille Moment’ that makes you forget where you are and maybe even wet yourself a little. Well, bring your diapers to this journey, as we are about to change all that. I’m talking about a thrill, as in reaching for something in your bag and finding half a cookie you were saving for your spouse but forget to give her kind of thrill. Looking at “Best of” lists out there, I see an army of sandwiches that frankly dont sound very interesting (chicken parm, Italian, BLT). Sure they can be satisfying, but I wouldnt go out of my way for a nicely crafted club sandwich. These 5 on the other hand, are worthy of a subway ride across town, and dont appear on many lists for various reasons.
Roberto Tuesday at City Sandwich – This Hell’s Kitchen Sandwich Award post looks extremely odd without the mention of only the best sandwich in the area. Most likely I havent discovered it in time. Slow roasted, delicious pork combined with salty Portuguese Bacon, jalapenos, sauteed onions and fresh spinach. All in that top notch signature Portuguese baguette that makes us go back to City Sandwich even on non-Tuesdays. 649 9th Ave (45/46 Hell’s Kitchen)
Lobster Press at Lobster Press (The Pennsy) – We need another food hall like we need another food hall. Yes it’s officially an expression now that we have as many food halls as pharmacies. But the brand new Pennsy, with only about 6 high end celebrity chef filled hall is quiet different. Marc Forgione’s Lobster Press may not have the biggest line in the room, but his Lobster Press, a Panini like pressed lobster sandwich may be the best sandwich in the neighborhood. More like a lobster salad with plenty of chunky lobster aided by a tangy lobster chili sauce. Try it with cheese or without. 2 Pennsylvania Plaza (Midtown West)
Pop’s Pastrami at Harry and Ida’s – The only sandwich spot on the Z-List says something about this place (My wallet says: slow down pal, I’m no PayPal). Something tells me there are 2 or 3 sandwiches here that could have made this list (my money would go on the pastrami dog, and smoked eel). But I’ve only had this marvelous pastrami sandwich loaded with think, beautifully spiced, juicy slabs of pastrami with buttermilk fermented cucumbers, dill and mustard. An homage to papa Harry’s original. 189 Avenue A (E. 12. Alphabet City)
Porchetta at Porchetta – This is one of those situations where describing the making process may lead a stranded web surfer who came here accidentally to choke on his own vomit. There are various ways of making Porchetta (Porketa) but generally it involves a whole pig, deboned, and stuffed with heart, liver (hungry yet?), and other parts you didn’t know exist. Along with a heavy hand of herbs, and spices, its then rolled, tied up, and slow roasted for hours before slicing for sandwich use. I’ve had it in classier joints that I didn’t enjoy as much, and in Italy. Here, the simple Porchetta in a Ciabatta is the real deal. Although the ciabatta isn’t arriving from Sullivan St Bakery anymore, it’s still holds its own. 110 E 7th (A/1st Est Village
Lobster Roll at Cull & Pistol – There are lobster rolls, and then there are lobster rolls. See the difference? There’s no shortage of lobster rolls around town these days but around 90% of them carry very little value, and wont fill you up. This one will. A hefty amount of mouthwatering, sweet claw meat is stuffed into a toasted bun, served along with excellent skinny fries. I prefer the Connecticut style, here at least, warm with a little bit of Mayo. Yes its $27, but at least you get a complete meal out of it. Chelsea market (Chelsea). Pictured at the top
The Koreano at Fuku – This one is growing on me. A Chick-fil-A inspired David Chang creation. Fried to perfection, habanero marinated, buttermilk coated, and spiced some more thigh meat with cucumbers inside a rather simple potato roll that’s pretty much served as holder. The off menu Koreano adds pickled Daikon to the mix which adds more layers to the flavor profile. 163 1st Avenue (E 10th. East Village)