Tag Archives: sandwiches

Vintner Wine Market

My wife and I strolled by this cool spot on Sunday and popped in for a beer and a sandwich. Vintner Wine Market sports hundreds of cool and unique beer selections in their fridges, as well as wines (by the glass and bottle). But what really got my attention was the roast beef sandwich.

This baby comes with horseradish cheddar, mayo and red onion. Simple and delicious. And the baguette was nice and fresh.

Good sized sandwich. We will be back here for sure.

VINTNER WINE MARKET
677 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036

Lioni

Lioni is a famous place in Bensonhurst for sandwiches, mozzarella, and generally any Italian food specialties.

My wife and I stopped in here on the recommendation of a friend who grew up across the street. We ordered two sandwiches:

The Sophia Loren (#12) was made with prosciutto, fresh Lioni mozzarella, stuffed sweet peppers, lettuce, olive oil, salt and pepper.

This thing was awesome. At $16 and over a foot long it can feed two people with ease. The bread was superb, and the meat quality was awesome – no stringy bits, which is sometimes common with average, run of the mill prosciutto. They only use the good stuff here.

The other sandwich was one I concocted myself – generally a no-no in here as they like you to order by number (they have about 300 different sandwiches on the menu). It was bresaola, banana peppers and provolone.

The bresaola was incredible. This one cost $19 and that’s because the bresaola was so top notch. I’ve never had better. The sandwich, however, needed some kind of sauce or hydrating ingredient. I added a spicy honey at home and that seemed to do the trick nicely.

I highly recommend this deli. Great sandwiches!

LIONI
7803 15th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11228

Pat LaFrieda Meat Counter

I’ve been fixing to get to this spot in The Pennsy for a while, and I finally had the opportunity last weekend. I organized a bunch of Instagram food savages to come in and shoot pics, sample the menu and promote the LaFrieda brand, which I have come to love so much.

First up, the roast beef sandwich:

This baby is served cold cut style, with bleu cheese, horseradish aioli, pickled red onions and watercress on a toasted semolina roll.

It’s very difficult to choose a favorite among so many selections here. It really depends on what mood you’re in.

Next was the black Angus steak sandwich.

That’s sliced filet mignon with melted Monterey Jack cheese, caramelized onions, baby spinach and au jus on a toasted ciabatta roll. Awesome.

Grandpa’s meatball sandwich is pretty tight.

Tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella on a pressed ciabatta roll. Simple and delicious.

This fucker was intensely flavorful.

Slow roasted pork with broccoli rabe and melted provolone on a ciabatta roll. So juicy!

“World’s Greatest Hot Dog” is a bold claim for a menu item to make, but LaFrieda really delivers with this.

This baby is actually two hot dogs with honey mustard, caramelized onions and hot peppers.

As you can see, the dogs are split and grilled, which is a big win for me. I love that preparation.

And finally, the short rib platter.

This is slow roasted and maple glazed, served with greens and a celery root slaw.

For $15 this has to be one of the best buys in NYC for a steak.

This stuff is fork tender too. I was barely able to pick this up without it falling apart – that’s how soft it is!

Do yourself a favor and get this right away. 9/10.

My wife had the genius idea to pop all the items from the soft rib platter onto one of the LaFrieda homemade potato chips.

Pretty incredible! And wash it all down with fresh lemonade or iced tea from the taps.

PAT LAFRIEDA MEAT COUNTER
The Pennsy
2 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121

Via Quadronno

This joint is known for its incredible panini sandwiches and fresh Italian menu selections. I’m gonna get right down to business here, because me and a group of Instagram influencers tried a ton of items.

My favorite sandwich: La Madunina. This has prosciutto, fresh mozz, olive tapenade and tomato. Very simple but incredibly delicious.

Tentazione: prosciutto, smoked mozz, arugula, shrimp and sauce.

Americano: brie, fresh mozz, corn, arugula and tomatoes.

Bip-Bip: bresaola, goat cheese, shrimp, arugula and sauce.

Il Toast: boiled ham and melted fontina cheese.

Lo Spazzino: roast pork, arugula, provolone, red onion and capers.

They also do some open faced toast style brunch sandwiches as well. We tried the smoked salmon and crab meat, fresh mozz and tomato, and asparagus with cheese.

Speaking of asparagus, they also offer it in a salad form with lots of crab meat on top. Wow! That’s a serious portion.

And this veggie salad with tuna was so fresh and tasty.

The mussels were really nice too, served in a light but spicy tomato broth. Nicely executed.

The pesto pasta had a great flavor and was perfectly cooked.

As did the lasagna. I’m usually very hard on lasagne, because my mom made a killer lasagna. This was fantastic. The photo doesn’t do it justice. You need to see the layering.

I also had a steak. Surprise! The meat quality was indeed good (DeBragga), and the peppercorn sauce for the top was delicious. It’s also served on a bed of broccoli rabe, and with a side of roasted fingerling potatoes.

Enough photos of that? I think so. We also had dessert. Several tart pies, a wonderful tiramisu, some gelato and sorbets, and an assortment of Italian cookies.

And we tasted several coffee and hot chocolate selections that had awesome designs in the foam.

And a drink made with Prosecco, raspberry jam and St. Germain.

Definitely give this place a try. There’s also another location about 10 streets down from this one.

VIA QUADRONNO
1228 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10128

Delaney Chicken

Urbanspace Vanderbilt plays host to some of the absolute best food in town. Delaney Chicken is one of them.

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I first tasted their spicy chicken sandwich a few months ago and immediately hailed it as my favorite, and easily the best in town. Yesterday I grabbed one of their classic chicken sandwiches to test for consistency. It was right on the fucking money!

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I seriously can’t get enough of this thing. It comes on a nice potato bun with simply some pickles and house mayo. You wouldn’t think much of that, but the chicken is so perfect, and the sandwich is huge. The outside has a light, crispy and slightly spicy breading, and the inside is some of the most tender thigh meat chicken I’ve ever tasted. I still prefer the spicy to the original, but just look at this damn thing… It’s unbelievable.

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DELANEY CHICKEN
At Urbanspace Vanderbilt
230 Park Ave
New York, NY 10169

Bunk Sandwiches; Union Wine Company; Salt & Straw Ice Cream

NOTE: THIS PLACE IS CLOSED!

A food-biz friend of mine, Jared (@foodandcity), invited me to an awesome event that Union Wine Company hosted at his client’s sandwich shop (Bunk Sandwiches) to fire up some press behind their newest wine-in-a-can, a sparkling wine/champagne in a golden can.

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So my buddy invited his food crew, and the PR folks behind Union Wine invited their crew, so this was a big smash up on the streets of Williamsburg with wine being served out of a vintage 1972 Citroën H Van “Tasting Truck.”

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As it turned out, Salt & Straw, an ice cream company out of Portland (in fact the other two businesses also originated in Portland), was also on-site, serving up delicious, unique and inventive scoops.

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So let me take these down one by one. I’ll start with the ice cream, since that was actually the first thing I tasted.

Salt & Straw

A table inside of Bunk was serving up five wildly creative flavors.

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I tried them all, and I think my favorites were the marionberry habanero and the gin spiced blackberry jam. The habanero had a great kick of spice at the end, but everything was mellowed by the sweetness of the ice cream. The gin spiced blackberry jam popped with a zing of flavor from the juniper spice and the blackberry added a nice roundness and hit of sweet.

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All of the ice creams are top notch quality and extremely creamy. Even the sorbet was rich, creamy and not icy like you’d expect.

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You can only get this shit in the Portland and Los Angeles areas at the moment, so this was a special treat. People were freaking out to get a taste. Hopefully they will open up shop here in NYC soon.

SALT & STRAW
Various Locations
Portland, OR
Los Angeles, CA

Bunk Sandwiches

The awesome people at Bunk passed around three different food items while we sipped canned wine and sucked the ice cream off of plastic spoons. The first thing I tried was this muffuletta.

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I’ve been searching for a good muffuletta sandwich in NYC since about 2008. I think I finally found it.

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I first became aware of these during a trip to New Orleans, where food history indicates that they became popular among Italian immigrants in the old days. My wife and I passed by some place late at night, and I saw these giant hamburger bun looking things through the window. I thought they were giant burgers!

It turns out they were large Italian sandwiches. To be precise, these are sandwiches made with layers of various Italian meats and cheeses that are topped with an olive salad or olive spread “salsa.” All of this is then assembled upon a type of Sicilian sesame bread called muffuletta. So, yes; the sandwich is technically named after the kind of bread it’s served on. There’s also some contention about whether it is spelled “muffuletta” or “muffaletta,” apparently. But if you’re ever in NoLa, the uncontested, undisputed place to get these is called Central Grocery, and it’s right near Cafe DuMonde, which is famous for its beignets… so two birds.

Okay so Bunk makes an awesome version of this sandwich on what seemed to be a foccacia bread. So delicious. The meats were all good quality, and the olive spread was coarsely chopped with all different colors and styles of olives in the mix. So fucking good. It didn’t matter that the bread was different to me, because the flavors were all well represented.

They also served up some pork belly Cubanos.

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These were both toasty and tasty! The pork belly was sliced really thin so the meat just melted in your mouth.

Last, mole tots! These tater tots were topped with a mole sauce, fresh cheese, red onions, avocado and cilantro.

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Noah, the man in charge over at Bunk, referred to them as “totchos” (tot nachos, in case you suck at life). They were delicious and very inventive, which seemed to be the theme of the day given all of the unique shit I was tasting.

I definitely need to get back here for a real deal meal with my wife, not only for a muffuletta fix, but because their menu is chock full of amazing sandwiches.

BUNK SANDWICHES
740 Driggs Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Union Wine Company

And now for the wine… I tried a few sips of everything they were offering. They had a pinot gris, which was nice and dry, if that’s your thing and you like white wines. They also had a rose, which was mildly sweet, crisp and refreshing. The champagne was fun, though I am not really a champagne guy to begin with, so I may be the wrong guy to ask about that. The pinot noir was pretty good though. It was light, and had hints of cherry. But the wine cooler was actually great. At 6.5% ABV this is like a fruit beer, of sorts, made with several different fruits and herbs/spices. It tasted like blood orange or grapefruit, though those fruits were not used in making the drink.

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Wine in a can is taking off! And I bet the boys from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are laughing their asses off about it. Their joke is turning into reality. Life imitates art?

UNION WINE COMPANY
19550 SW Cipole Rd
Tualatin, OR 97062

Pao de Queijo

My friend Jeff from Foodmento organized an instagrammer event at Pao de Queijo, a Brazilian sandwich and burger joint in Astoria. Lucky for me, I was invited!

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This place also slings some really great smoothies and shakes, like this “Verano” shake, with pineapple, coconut and graviola (similar in flavor to a mango).

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This hit the spot and was super refreshing on such a hot, sunny day.

With a bunch of instagrammers on hand, there was a barrage of sandwich pics and stack shots going on.

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I managed to grab half of two sandwiches/burgers that I was really interested in trying. On the top/right in the pics below is the “X Banana” burger, which is a beef burger with banana, cheese, corn, potato sticks, lettuce, tomato and mayo. On the bottom/left is the “X Brazil” sandwich, consisting of sliced beef, cheese, egg, Brazilian sausage, corn, potato sticks, lettuce, tomato and mayo.

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Both were really great. I preferred the burger over the steak sandwich, mainly because the burger was more properly seasoned, and that banana was a great surprise that really drove some standout flavors. The burger patties have herbs and spices in the mix, which make these burgers very unique among the landscape of other burger joints.

“X Banana” Burger:

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The “X Brazil” was great in concept. I have two critiques: I think the steak just needed a bit more salt before it hit the grill, and perhaps the sausage should be chopped up a bit before it gets put onto the sandwich, that way your teeth don’t have to work through the snappy casing as much when biting down. Otherwise I loved it, and I would definitely order this again without any second thoughts.

“X Brazil” Sandwich:

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The best part about these sandwiches is that they’re properly constructed to minimize slippage and crap falling out the sides, which could otherwise make for a messy eating experience. The bread surrounds the contents nicely, and they’re wrapped compact enough so that it’s easy to get your whole mouth around for a bite.

There is so much more to try on their menu, like a burger with pineapple, or sandwiches with ham and chicken thrown into the mix. The sandwiches and burgers run anywhere from $3.75 for a simple ham and cheese to $12.50 for the “X Brazil.” Very reasonable.

Fries come separate at $3, and they’re really great when you add some of the green sauce on them, which you can find on each table.

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But the real star(s) of the “side show” are the restaurant’s namesake: Pao de Queijo, or cheese breads.

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These toasty little balls are a bread dough that’s been kneaded and mixed with cheese. The outside is crisp and warm, and the inside is a cross between bread and cheese. So awesome, so soft, so tasty… but beware: these things are fucking addicting.

In fact, as a promotion from this Instagram event, when you go here, if you mention the word “acai” you will get three free Pao de Queijo (three balls).

And speaking of acai, if you’re still hungry for dessert after all that sandwich gorging, or if you’re dieting for some ridiculous reason, then grab an acai bowl while you’re here.

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This one has acai puree on the bottom, which was like a cold berry soup, and is topped with bananas, mango, granola and mint.

PAO DE QUEIJO
31-90 30th St
Astoria, NY 11106

Bolivian Llama Party

I’ve been a little bit bummed out about the kiosks available at TurnStyle, the semi-new food hall located underground at the Columbus Circle subway station. It seems to be mostly coffee, candy and merchandise; but Bolivian Llama Party is a different story. This place is serving real food; not some pre-packaged bullshit.

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BLP front

BLP menu

Saltenas, in particular, are their specialty. They’re similar in form to empanadas but they differ in style. They typically consist of a soupy filling and a slice of hard boiled egg inside of a baked outer crust.

BLP case

BLP open

Bolivian Llama Party also offers slider sandwiches and interesting drinks. We tried three different saltenas; Beni (beef), Toco (pork) and Chimba (chicken). We also tried two different sliders (triple pork and beef brisket).

BLP sandwiches

BLP all

Two of the saltenas were a bit too sweet for my liking. One was beef, and I’m not sure if the other sweet one was pork or chicken. We got them mixed up in the bag, and when you bite into these things the filling in one is largely indistinguishable from another. The third, which was either Toco or Chimba (I’m leaning toward Toco), was delicious and packed with great savory goodness. Both sliders were excellent as well, but I preferred the pork slightly over the beef. You can’t go wrong with either  of those sliders, though.

Triple Pork full sandwich is amazing!

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Roast pork, bacon and pork belly cracklings.

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BOLIVIAN LLAMA PARTY
TurnStyle Food Hall
1000S 8th Ave,
New York, NY 10019

Off the Block

My friends and family on Long Island have been telling me about this new joint in Sayville that serves some killer sandwiches and is set up like a gourmet butcher shop or deli. This past weekend I finally got to try it out.

OTB front

When you step in, you’re inside a nice little butcher shop. They sell prepared foods, and cuts of meat like you’d find at a deli, but they also have a nice dry-aging room right there on site.

OTB products

OTB steaks

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There’s a cool bar area near the flat top grill for an old fashioned diner experience, and the menu is pretty simple but fantastic.

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OTB griddle

OTB menu

We did take-out (me, my brother and our wives), but here’s what I thought of everything we tried:

Chili Espresso Wings: I really liked these a lot. While I was hoping for a bit more heat on these, I really enjoyed the flavor combo, and they were nicely crisped. You don’t normally see fun and interesting wing flavors like this. I’d definitely get these again.

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Duck Buns: These come in an order of three, and are nice and tasty. The duck is simultaneously crispy and tender, just as it should be. While pricey, at $12, you don’t often see these on the island.

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Filet Tips in Gravy: These were tasty meat morsels. They were fun to pop and snack on, and the gravy was great with the fries. I’d pass on a future visit, perhaps opting for the riblets instead.

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16 Hour Brisket Sandwich: The meat was so tender on this fucker. It was topped with melted provolone, pickles and pickled red cabbage for a good southern flavor profile. It was delicious, but I think the provolone wasn’t the best match for the other flavors. Maybe a brie or a cheddar would work better? Something more southern.

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Porchetta Sandwich: This was clearly the big winner of the day in terms of brute flavor and awesomeness. The pork was caramelized and crisp on the outside, but soft and tender inside. The tomato and sautéed spinach toppings added juiciness and a nice hit of fresh green to balance that savory pork meat. I want more!

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Chicken Sandwich: While I didn’t get to try this, it most certainly looked amazing. A simple grilled chicken with lettuce, tomato and cheese. Check out the cheese strings!

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I’ll definitely be back here again the next time I’m home. One other menu item was really screaming for my attention that I didn’t get to try: the Pastrueben. Pastrami + Rueben. I’ll just let that brew in your minds until next time…

OFF THE BLOCK
501 Montauk Hwy
Sayville, NY 11782

Paris Sandwich

My wife and I stopped in this little joint to sample some sandwiches. Over the last week I’ve put away six or seven different banh mi sandwiches, and this place served up the best of the lot.

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We went with the classic bologna and pate banh mi, as well as the grilled pork. The bread was softer and less flakey than most baguettes, but it was still crisp and delicious.

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The meats were delicious, and packed well with abundance. The grilled pork had hints of lemongrass, and the pork roll and pate sandwich had great texture. At $5 each, this place is a steal.

PARIS SANDWICH
213 Grand St
New York, NY 10013