As the new year unfolds before us, our hope is to continue and share our food adventures and possibly some new ventures of our own with our dear readers. We wish each and every one of you a happy and successful new year!
Without further ado, we would like to introduce a lovely restaurant overlooking Gramercy Park on 21st and Lexington Avenue, a perfect spot to grab some breakfast with friends on a Saturday afternoon. Maialino is an Italian restaurant with an atmosphere of a trattoria, a casual Italian eatery with a rustic charm felt in their decor and food. The restaurant is divided into four sections, the bar, the dinning room, the cucina which acts as a divide and where the barista and salami are stationed, and finally, the private dining room where special events can be held.
With very hungry stomachs, we headed over to Maialino after New Years Day to catch up and enjoy a warm cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast. We ordered the excellent porchetta (roast pork) sandwich consisting of a fluffy ciabatta, two fried eggs, and fresh arugula. This breakfast sandwich comes with thinly sliced pork that is extremely tender and makes it very easy to bite into. Another delightful aspect of this dish was the sunny side up eggs. If you like your eggs runny, you will thoroughly enjoy how the yolk adds a creaminess and a savory kick to this dish. And, if you want to elevate your sandwich to another level, order a side of their incredibly thick and crispy black pepper pancetta, and add a few slices.
Maialino is open for reservations and did we mention they keep the coffee flowing?
Alidoro is a rare gem tucked away in the edge of Soho. Located on Sullivan between Spring and Broome, this small establishment is cash only, no substitutions. You don’t go here for the service, you go here for their no-bullshit, delicious Italian sub sandwiches filled with prosciutto or salami, arugula, along with refreshing pelligrino.
During lunch time, there’s usually a long line that goes out the door. No need to worry about waiting too long though, the place is very small, and the service is fast. The most you’ll wait after ordering a sandwich is probably about 6 minutes.
Naomi and I got the Michaelangelo sandwich. The bread is carved out, then drizzled with baslamic vinegar and olive oil. After this process comes the assembling of the other ingredients, delicious layers of prosciutto, arugula, a generous amount of provolone cheese, and a dash of hot peppers. We also recommend the Matthew which is a slight variation of the Michaelangelo. The Matthew consists of prosciutto, mozzerella cheese and arugula.
One Saturday afternoon, my sister and I made our way to Blank Cafe, located in south Williamsburg by the water on Broadway. Blank Cafe reminds me of a hip cafe that you might stumble upon in the back streets of Harajuku or Daikanyama in Tokyo. And indeed, this unique cafe not only looks the part, but also serves perfectly portioned and delicious Japanese curries and cafe sandwiches. My sister and I decided to share both the Chicken Curry and their sweet and savory Nanban Chicken Sandwich.
Nanban Chicken is a Japanese dish where the chicken is doused in Nanban sauce, a sweet and sour mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and salt. Nanban is a particular cuisine quite not Japanese, yet not entirely western. Some say it was the influence of the Portuguese that brought about this unique fusion dish. The roll used for this Nanban sandwich is also unique – almost like potato bread, it has a hint of sweetness, reminiscent of the Japanese bakery snacks my sister and I grew up with.
P.S. We also recommend the chicken curry that is plentiful in shredded chicken and spiciness.
Have you ever experienced that tear on the roof of your mouth while eating a bhán mi? It hurts like hell and anything consumed afterwards is a complete nightmare. Worry not, we’ve found a savior to the post-bhán-mi-raw-mouth-syndrome. Saigon Vietnamese Deli on Broome and Mott Street may not be the most fancy establishment in New York city, but it does serve a delicious sandwich with a soft baguette. We highly recommend the house special which comes with pork, cilantro, pickled cucumbers, carrots, and radishes.
This sandwich is a dichotomy. On initial contact, there is a slight crunch and then your teeth descend into a cloud of soft bread. The pork gives saltiness, the pickled vegetables a sweet flavor, and finally, the cilantro a strong and fresh burst of taste. Enjoy!
It’s a perfect hangover cure, a fried egg, avocado, bacon and cheese on a fluffy roll. The egg of this sandwich is fried to just the right degree, crispy whites with slightly undercooked inside. Smoked crunchy bacon is topped with a drizzle of Sriacha.
The first time I ventured to this juicery/cafe, we ordered their renowned egg sandwich only to find they had run out of their original roll. Their whole wheat bread as an alternative was delicious, but we were left craving and curious for the “roll.” Thankfully we were able to wakeup early enough before the hungover Brooklynites devoured all the egg sandwiches.
Note, Summers brings to it’s customers the finest, freshest ingredients from the farm. The vegetables and fruit used for their juices are all organic. So, for those health conscious individuals out there, no need to worry!