Americans love to eat with their hands, especially in summer. Warm weather lends itself to hot dogs, ice cream cones, milkshakes and fries. No utensils required. While the lobster roll holds first place as the quintessential summer sandwich, we’ve noticed plenty of new, inspired options this season. And in a city as diverse as New York, you can expect lots of diversity. Why eat another ham & cheese when you can try The Spotted Pig’s cubano sandwich at lunch? New York offers everything from an Indian grilled cheese to General Tso’s tofu sandwich at No. 7 Sub in the Ace Hotel.
Mile End –
Smoked Brisket Sandwich
Address: 97A Hoyt Street bet. Atlantic
and Pacific avenues (Brooklyn)
Phone: (718) 852-7510
Let the tourists flock to Katz’s, we think Mile End’s got the best “pastrami” sandwich in town. This new, Jewish deli destination
specializes in Montreal-style smoked meat, even
juicier and spicier
than traditional pastrami. This Boerum Hill shop lets its cured
brisket smoke over oak for hours and serves it with mustard on rye. Mile End’s pastrami edges out Katz’, the one that made Meg Ryan moan in When
Harry Met Sally, not to mention it’s half
No. 7 Sub – General Tso’s tofu
Address: 1188 Broadway bet. 28th
and 29th streets
Phone: (212) 532-1680
Most people don’t associate a sandwich with Chinese food, but you
just might start after tasting General Tso’s Tofu. Chef Tyler Kord
applies both his imagination and pedigree to the art of the sandwich at
this sub shop, tucked inside the Ace Hotel. There’s plenty of oddball
sandwiches on the
menu, and the General Tso’s Tofu happens to be one of our favorites.
Lord stuffs a sweet, wheat roll with spicy, crispy tofu, roasted onions
and a one-of-a-kind, broccoli mayo.
Specialties – Chicken Parm Hero
Address: 250 Mulberry St., at Prince St.
Phone: (212) 965-0955
Rich Torrisi & Mario Carbone, the chefs & owners, have elevated an Italian-American lunch staple to new heights. The two apply the techniques they learned at Café Boulud and Del Posto to the chicken parm hero and the result is unrivaled. What emerges from the kitchen is a juicy chicken cutlet dusted in Progresso bread crumbs, basil tomato sauce and a slice of milky,
Press 195 – Roast Beef Knish
Address:195 5th Ave bet.
Union St. and Berkeley Pl. (Brooklyn) and 40-11 Bell Blvd (Queens)
Phone: (718) 857-1950 and (718 )281-1950
After a visit to Press 195, you’ll rethink your concept of the sandwich. This unusual sandwich shop-cum wine bar features dozens of tasty knishes, but we’re especially partial to roast beef tucked inside a potato knish, along with gooey, melted cheddar, spicy brown mustard, & a sweet onion jam. The whole concoction’s toasted in the panini maker, making for a superiorly crispy crust and warm potato
The Spotted Pig – Cubano Sandwich
Address: 314 West 11th St. nr. Greenwich St.
Phone: (212) 620-0393
The Spotted Pig’s never been loyal to one country, which explains the Cubano sandwich on the lunch menu. Good thing. In April Bloomfield’s hands, the Cubano comes with pork, roasted in duck and pork fat,
smoked prosciutto and gruyere (instead of the usual ham and Swiss,) and pickled jalepenos for heat. As for the roll, it’s baked at Balthazar. Purists may be disappointed, but we think this is the best Cubano in town.
Despana – Chorizo Panini
Address: 408 Broome St.bet. Lafayette and Cleveland
Phone: (212) 219-5050
Most New Yorkers only know Despana as a specialty shop for Spanish goods, but we recently discovered they also make paninis from all the top-notch meats and imported cheeses they sell. Our favorite is the chorizo panini with nutty Manchego cheese and a drizzle of
Spanish olive oil. There aren’t many places where you can shop and nosh at the same time.
Mumbai Xpress – Mumbai grilled cheese
Address:256-05 Hillside Avenue
Phone: (718) 470-0059
This takeout joint turns a
lunchbox classic on its head. For starters, this grilled cheese is a double-decker sandwich,
much more substantial than the typical grilled cheese. And crunchy peppers and onions give it a grown-up vibe. But the real clencher is the
combination of creamy, Swiss-like Gujarati cheese with a tart coriander chutney flavored with mint. Moms might want to take note.
Taim – Falafel Sandwich
Address: 222 Waverly Place
Phone: (212) 691-1287
If you want great falafel, this is the place. Located in the West Village, Taim features three different types of
falafel, which can be ordered separately or a sampling of all three in the combo sandwich. I can’t pick between them, so I order the combo with roasted pepper falafel, harissa, and cilantro. The falafel’s fried-to-order, perfectly crispy on the outside, moist within. If that’s enough, it’s served on fresh, housemade pita.
Porchetta – Porchetta sandwich
Address: 110 East 7th St.bet.
Ave. A and 1st Ave.
Phone: (212) 777-2151
Manhattan’s got plenty of piggy preparations, but don’t O.D. on the other
white meat before getting your hands on the roast pork sandwich at Porchetta. Porchetta’s the real deal. Sara Jenkins grew up in Tuscany and paid her
dues cooking at Il Buco & 50 Carmine before opening this teeny spot in the East Village. She roasts pork loin-wrapped pork and the result is terrifically tender
pulled meat and crunchy skin cracklings on Italian Ciabatta bread. You can take it to-go, but it’s worth finding a spot inside to eat it warm & fresh from the oven.
BaoHaus – Chairman Bao
Address: 137 Rivington St. nr.
The sandwich to order at BaoHaus is the Chairman bao. In fact, it’s a rite of passage for pork bun fanatics, one that competes with the one Momofuku Ssam Bar and
Fatty Crab. Chef Eddie Huang, who rocks hip-hop clothes that he designs
himself, stuffs pork belly into a plush white bun, topping it with peanuts, pickled greens and cilantro. The best part, BaoHaus is open ’til 2
a.m. for late-night noshing. Pretty genius.