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Crazy Sandwiches Come Home to Roost in NYC

The latest in a sandwich series from Eater NY's Robert Sietsema

It’s been several months since Eater NY has presented a collection of crazy sandwiches, and gosh have they been piling up in the meantime! Sandwiches have continued to popularize in the last year, and everybody’s making them. In that context, it’s natural that places are creating more beyond-the-pale examples for the purpose of competing with their sandwich-making sisters and brothers. Here are ten more doozies that can be found around the city.

Phi Kappa Slamma — Sounding like some mutant fraternity or sorority, or maybe a form of hazing at one of those institutions, the phi kappa slamma is barbecue-based and served on a hamburger bun. Stoked thereon is the weird combo of sliced brisket, chopped brisket chili, thin and trickly cheese sauce, crushed tortilla chips (which immediately become soggy), and green chile sauce. The sandwich is much better than it sounds! Find it at: Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, 433 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, (347) 763-2680


Roasted Japanese Yam — The time we sampled this sandwich, there was nothing Japanese about the yam; in fact it was a plain old orange yam. But the vegan sandwich was great anyway, the yam flaunting a roasted flavor that complemented the verdant fluffiness of the chard leaves. Pickled veggies, cilantro, and a chile-soy dressing then brought the whole thing together. Find it at: Num Pang Sandwich Shop, 140 E 41st St (and other locations), (212) 867-8889



Mac and Cheese Sandwich
— Certainly someone has done it before: Take creamy mac and cheese, already done to a turn in a casserole, pile it into a sandwich, and then toast it like a toasted cheese. It proves, at least, that there’s almost nothing that more starch and a judicious amount of char won’t improve. Find it at: Mac Shack, 901 Fulton St, Brooklyn, (718) 230-0727


Roast Mushroom Panini — Hot-pressed and grooved, panini have become something of a bar food staple in the last few years. In this vegetarian version, sautéed mushrooms are layered on the ciabatta with caramelized onions, "dirty" potato chips, truffle mayo, and fontina cheese. The result is a gooey and salty mess, leaving the pungent and artificial smell of truffle oil in your nostrils. Find it at: Il Bambino, 48 W 8th St, (212) 228-2466



Mother-In-Law
— This fancifully named sandwich assumes that your partner’s mom has a big, big appetite. Because this gut-bomb of a sandwich contains — in addition to huge quantities of thick-sliced, long-braised beef rib — charred broccoli, kimchi, and mayo on a blistered garlic roll. Find it at: Court Street Grocers, 540 LaGuardia Pl, (212)777-9292


Griddled Mortadella — Down South, especially in working-class dining establishments, it’s not unusual to stumble on fried bologna sandwiches, but never has luncheon meat received such effete treatment as the griddled mortadella. This fat-dotted composed roll, bologna’s wealthier relation, has been deployed in griddle-cooked form, dressed with ricotta, nasturtium leaves, and nasturtium pesto, and served on an open-face sandwich. Bologna's greasiness shines through like a headlight. Find it at: Rider, 80 N 6th St, Brooklyn, (718) 210-3152


Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Hero — Sure, broccoli rabe with fennel sausages is a southern Italian classic meal, but it took a sandwich genius to put them in a crusty roll, and then break the mold by also adding cheese. You won’t walk away from this sandwich hungry, and the bitterness of the broccoli rabe sets the whole thing on fire. Find it at: The Grotto, 69 New St, (212) 809-6990



Cheese Chicken Toasted
— The picture of this thing on the advertising placard suggested it would be made with actual chicken kebab, but when it arrived, it was stuffed with chicken-based mystery meat. No matter, it was good anyway, the spammy slices grilled and protruding like a human tongue, layered with American cheese, pickle spears, lettuce, and tomato, then sluiced with Russian dressing oddly flavored with thyme. BTW, the sandwich is nominally Turkish. Find it at: Euro Smoothies & Juice Bar, a wooden shack near Macdougal and 3rd streets


Mexican Falafel — Taim in the West Village introduced flavored falafel balls to Manhattan a few years ago to general huzzahs, but now the concept has been carried even further, with cross-cultural falafel sandwiches appearing on the Lower East Side. There’s an Indian falafel, a Greek falafel, and a Jerusalem falafel, but our favorite is the Mexican falafel, outfitted with tomato salsa, jalapeños, and chipotle. Find it at: Moemen, 201 Allen St, (646) 918-6877


Vegetarian Ham Banh Mi — Vietnamese baguette sandwiches present such a chorus of powerful flavors (pickled veggies, cilantro, jalapeños, doctored mayo) that it’s hard to imagine that lack of real meat would make much of a difference. But there’s something wonderful about the fake ham used in this banh mi — greasy, salty, and gelatinous —that actually boosts the flavor of this excellent sandwich. Find it at: Banh Mi Place, 824 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, (718) 552-2660

More in the series:

NYC Pop-Up Restaurants

The Hottest Pop-Ups in NYC Right Now

First Look

A West Village Vegan Restaurant With a Short List for Meat Eaters

A.M. Intel

Michelin Bib Dim Sum Go Go Is Opening in the East Village Soon

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