It took me a while to warm up to this one. After all, I was a fan of the previous tenant, Feltman’s of Coney Island, a hot dog joint with a story. The reincarnation of the original Coney Island Red Hots, invented by Charles Feltman in 1867. Owner Michael Quinn, packed and left about 6 months ago, and a sandwich shop now occupies the space inside the William Barnacle Tavern (a former prohibition era speakeasy) on St Marks. My level of enthusiasm needed some time to get going on this one. What can they possibly do in this tiny ‘hers and hers’ closet size kitchen? Magic apparently.
The available space was ideal for Ori and Sivan who live in the same building. According to EV Grieve, they grow some of the ingredients in the garden behind the building. A Zero Kilometer Slow Food destination if you will. Maybe they even have a few black pigs roaming around the back munching on East Village acorns. How else would you explain the hard to get Culatello (Prosciutto so prized, it has its own name) that was featured one week. The rotating ingredient driven, whimsical sandwiches keeps Sivan and Ori on their toes, and fun to follow on Instagram. And their brief stint in Tokyo taught them a few tricks.
It starts with the high quality bread from Pain D’Avignon which they also sell separately. The sandwiches rotate based on availability of carefully selected ingredients and to some degree… Sivan’s dreams. When she dreamt about camels, camel meat made it to the menu. When she dreamt about being attacked by angry Bisons, there was revenge in the form of Bison Heart with Tehini, pickled onions, and greens. On occasion, You may see the cleverly light “Oh Boy”, wild Argentinian jumbo Red Shrimp with homemade shrimp sauce and pickled tomato.
Some sandwiches include their orange based spicy sauce that elevated Mrs Ziggy’s already fantastic chicken cutlets back at home. They sell the bottles now for $5. No matter what sandwich you select, the three to five ingredients dance together in harmony, producing a well balanced combination. But if I have to pick one sandwich its the signature Smoking Fox – Smoked Boneless Rib, Coleslaw, pickles and that zesty hot sauce.
EWZ historians claim that this is the first post about a place with less than two Yelp reviews (one as of this writing). This is some strong stuff, and a lesson to us all. When you come across a seemingly low overhead business, dont dismiss it quickly. There could be a creative team behind it, that likes to dream.