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Friday, August 17, 2012

Next Magazine - Between The Bread

The line may be long come lunchtime at Bottino (246 10th Ave, 212-206-6766, pictured here, but the wait never is. The folks that work there move fast! From the list of sandwiches, the tuna with chopped red onion is my go-to, on a bed of peppery arugula and tomato and nestled between slices of your choice of Tuscan white (my favorite), baguette, wheat, focaccia or multigrain. I wouldn’t say no to the Prosciutto and mascarpone sammie with basil, either.
A rare, thinly sliced roast beef deli sandwich is the perfect thing to take out at Lunch Box (886 Ninth Ave, 212-489-9642, The meat is stuffed in a chewy baguette with frilly lettuce, American cheese, horseradish sauce and creamy avocado. Do consider sharing: this one is better suited for two.
Gird your loins. The Mish Mash at Mile End Sandwich (53 Bond St, 212-529-2990,, the Noho outpost of the Jewish delicatessen, is a bit of a mess and hardly your typical breakfast nosh. They throw scrambled eggs in an onion roll with some salami—naturally a beef frank goes there, too—and caramelized onions for what is undoubtedly a resounding finish.
Alobar (46-42 Vernon Blvd, LIC, 718-752-6000, has a Duck Confit “Sloppy Joe” that layers smoked ricotta, a trifle of truffles, onions marinated in red wine and a sunny-side up duck egg between the bread. In case you’re feeling skittish, mixed greens are on the plate to provide a delusional balance.
Outrageous Rocket Pig (463 W 24th St, 212-645-5660, took off a few months ago as a new venture from chef Ralf Kuettel of Trestle on Tenth. The menu is a straight shot, specializing mostly in the huge and heavenly Rocket Pig Sandwich with spice-rubbed pork, red-onion jam and mustard-y sauce on an exquisite ciabatta roll. Rocket Pig hot sauce comes on the side, along with a house-made pickle. When there’s “No More Pig” they put out a sign saying so, and that happens quite often.
Txikito (240 Ninth Ave, 212-242-4730,, pronounced chee-kee-toe, is a tiny, intimate little shoebox with one of the most gleefully shameless burgers in town. The El Doble, set amidst the  usual Basque creations of of Eder Montero and Alex Raij, is only available during lunch, so if you can’t make it during work—play hooky!
The boys are also doing their stuff at El Quinto Pino (401 W 24th St, 212-206-6900,, featuring fantastic, sumptuous sea urchin (or briny peanut butter as I often call it) laced with a gently biting mustard oil pressed in the middle of the most delectable warm and crusty bread from Tom Cat bakery in Brooklyn, which apparently delivers to this joint exclusively.
Lyon (118 Greenwich Ave, 212-242-5966, presents a well-executed taste of Lyonnaise fare, in the dusted-off space formerly known as Bruxelles. The Croque Monsieur is not as good as it was during the previous occupancy, but the Croque Madame with smoky ham, cheese and b├ęchamel topped with a fried egg just might make you forget.
A mere 12 clams gets you a pint of brew and a Shorty Cheesesteak at Shorty’s (576 Ninth Ave, 212-967-3055, Choose a Stella Artois and order the Shorty with the works. It arrives as if sent down from the heavens above, tidily wrapped in swaddling paper with everything kissing a scrumptious Italian Hoagie Roll from Philly’s own LeBus Bakery. Grilled onions (sandwiches are served ‘witout’ them unless you ask), Wiz (their version of Cheese Whiz), shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and a side of mayonnaise are all beyond.

First published in part in Next magazine

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