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9 Favorite Sandwiches for Spring (So Far)

Consider a baguette with butter and jam, an egg and saltfish bake, chopped cheese, or pambazo

A domed sandwich cut in half revealing meat, avocado, and lettuce.
The cochinita pibil torta at the Morelos taco cart.

Start with any series of ingredients along with some form of bread, and it can be assembled into a sandwich, or lots of different sandwiches depending on the length of that list. Some sandwiches, like the spicy chopped cheese below, are subtle variations on pre-existing sandwiches, while other seem plucked form thin air and constitute pure invention. Sometimes a single ingredient can revolutionize a familiar sandwich.

Now that we’ve established some principals, here is the current crop of sandwiches I’ve stumbled on — and loved — from the previous few months.

Here are the previous columns if you wish to read them: 9 Favorite Sandwiches for Fall, Eater Critic Robert Sietsema’s 9 Favorite Summer Sandwiches So Far, 11 Unexpected Sandwiches, 11 Favorite Hot Parm Heros, 11 Favorite Winter Sandwiches, 11 Favorite Fall Sandwiches, 11 More NYC Sandwiches That Are Getting Us Through the Pandemic, 11 Great NYC Sandwiches That Got Us Through the Pandemic

Baguette with butter and jam at Levain Bakery

Sandwiches don’t have to be savory, and they don’t have to be restricted to lunch. Applying just these principles, behold this sweet baguette sandwich ($3.25) made by slathering a split half-baguette with an obscene amount of butter and a jam of indeterminate composition — though my guess is mixed berry. The counter staff couldn’t tell me. However, the sandwich took me 15 minutes to eat, and every bite was enjoyable. 340 Lafayette Street, between Bleecker and Bond streets, Noho

A hand holds a half baguette aloft.
This baguette sandwich takes off like a sweet buttery rocket.

Egg and saltfish fry bake at A&A Bake & Doubles

In Trinidad, a fry bake swaps out an oven-baked roll for fried bread, hence the fry bake. Typical fillings for a fry bake are various kinds of fish, including canned herring, saltfish (salt cod), or fresh shark, but bakes can also deploy chicken gizzards or canned corned beef. The usual condiments of scotch bonnet sauce (“pepper”) and tamarind syrup can be applied to these salty sandwiches. usually eaten for breakfast or lunch. My favorite features saltfish scrambled with egg ($6). 1337 Fulton Street, at Verona Place, Bedford-Stuyvesant

A round roll with eggs scrambled with fish tidbits.
Saltfish and egg fry bake at A&A.

Cochinita pibil torta at Morelos Taco Cart

This taco cart which hails from the southern Mexican state of Morelos offers two kinds of sandwiches, tortas and cemitas, with the same eight or so fillings that go into the tacos. But this cart has one more: cochinita pibil, the signature pork shoulder of Yucatan that’s traditionally marinated in sour orange and achiote, and steamed underground in a banana leaf. Whatever they do with it here, the filling on the torta ($9) is moist and fibrous, quite a contrast to the other, drier fillings. Broadway and Great Jones Street, northeast corner

A colorfully painted trailer with a guy in the window.
The Tacos Morelos cart is selling a cochinita pibil torta.

Spicy chopped cheese at Highline Deli II

East Harlem’s (or is it the Bronx’s?) chopped-cheese sandwich has legs, and not only is the filling being used in diverse dishes like empanadas and sliders, but the sandwich itself has changed as it makes its way to various neighborhoods. When I stumbled on a spicy chopped cheese at Highline Deli on the Lower East Side, it used pepper jack rather than the usual American cheese, and then amped up the heat with chipotle mayo and pickled jalapeno, which added an additional vinegary tang. On a roll, it was $8. 83 Canal Street, at Eldridge Street, Lower East Side

Two halves of a sandwich held up in white paper.
Highline Deli’s spicy chopped cheese.

Truffle chopped cheese at Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi

It was inevitable that a chef would come along and do a super upscale version of the chopped cheese and that chef is Kwame Onwuachi at his new restaurant in Lincoln Center, Tatiana. He’s made aged ribeye and taleggio into three teeny tiny sandwich, with orange mayo on the side, and then shaved black truffles over the top. The $28 sandwich as an example of extreme sandwich making is unrivaled. 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side

Truffles shaved on top of a sandwich you can barely see with orange dressing on the side.
Truffle chopped cheese at Tatiana.

Pambazo at Los Tres Chilitos

Some say it was invented in the breezy, oceanside town of Veracruz — but whatever its origin, the sandwich of potatoes and chorizo is found on the streets Mexico City and in just about every other urban area in Central Mexico and beyond. The trick is that the halves of the cut roll are dipped in chile sauce as the sandwich is assembled, making it super sloppy and super delicious. 456 Central Avenue, near Congress Street, Jersey City Heights

A very red baguette sandwich.
Pambazo at Los Tres Chilitos

Oyster po’ boy at File Gumbo Bar

This sandwich is a pain in the ass to make, because the oysters must be freshly fried so that the sandwich can be delivered to the diner hot. And that is just what they do at Tribeca’s File Gumbo Bar, placed on a bun slathered with remoulade and stacked with crisp lettuce. There’s no better oyster po’ boy in town ($25). 275 Church Street, near Franklin Street

A baguette sandwich opened up to show five fried oysters.
The oyster po’ boy at File Gumbo Bar is served with asparagus.

De Sica at Madman Espresso

Who doesn’t love a tiny sandwich? It fulfills one of the greatest sandwich imperatives: convenience and ease of consumption. Named after Neapolitan filmmaker Vittorio De Sica, the sandwich ($5) is made with spicy soppressata, fontina, and black olive spread for extra depth of flavor. 332 Bleecker Street, between Christopher and West 10th streets, West Village

A tiny round sandwich with salami peeping out.
De Sica at Madman Expresso.

Sausage sandwich at Hiram’s French Fried Hot Dogs

This wonderful roadhouse on the southern edge of Fort Lee specializes in deep-fried hot dogs, hamburgers, and disco fries, but buried in the menu is an Italian sausage sandwich, tasting of fennel and dabbed with tomato sauce. At $3.75, what a deal! 1345 Palisade Avenue, between Harmon Avenue and Forest Road, Ft. Lee, NJ

A half hero with red sauced meat inside.
Sausage sandwich at Hiram’s.