Sandwich addiction threatens nascent food column: film at 11.

Occasionally, I go completely retarded and go to the same place for lunch ten times in three weeks – only if it’s really, really good, though.  My current obsession is, I’m happy to relate, Alidoro, on Sullivan between Prince and Spring.  Some of you may recall my initial mention in a Quick Bites column a few weeks ago – that blurb didn’t really do the place justice.  I’m not sure I’m the best person to actually do the place justice (one of the friends who introduced my girlfriend and I to the place has consistently offered to guest-review), but let me make the attempt, and hopefully I won’t then be the only one who gets embarrassed because he’s in there like three times a week.

The wall of Italian products, including my favorite cookies (the apple-filled ones – much better than it sounds, trust me) will attempt to distract, as will the movie posters which haven’t quite been wall-mounted yet.  Half the remaining area is taken up by a gelato cart and an espresso machine, neither of which is in use as of this writing.

You’ll have time to look at all this, though, once you’ve perused the extensive menu.  The sandwiches of Alidoro have names, and though the ingredients list isn’t all that diverse, you’ll need time to figure out which of the many combinations tickles your fancy.  I did a poor job of scanning the menu the first time and ended up with the Pinocchio ($10), which is a rather underwhelming combination of prosciutto, sopressata, mozzarella, sweet peppers, and olive pate.

Mind you, that sandwich wasn’t underwhelming because of the ingredients, but rather because the ingredients don’t fit together terribly well (yes, not all sandwiches are created equal – I’m looking at you, Dagwood Bumstead).  At Alidoro, I’ve only liked the olive pate, for example, on a sandwich featuring tuna – the special Capitano sandwich ($10.50) featured on a card taped to the front counter, which features a canned Sicilian tuna that will knock your socks off without using mayo, along with Italian baby onions, arugula, and he afore-mentioned olive pate, mozzarella, and sweet peppers.  The card also offers a version with prosciutto, which I think is totally messed up.

A better context in which to sample the prosciutto is in the Mischa ($9.50), which features that meat with provolone, hot peppers with a good balance of spice to flavor, and the ubiquitous arugula, which is always exceedingly fresh.  Did you know the British call arugula “rocket?”  They’re damn goofy, they are.  Another good introductory sandwich is the Fellini ($9.50), with hot peppers and arugula again, as well as sopressata and mozzarella.  Quite tasty.

I’ve still not cracked into the more exotic possibilities – a semi-soft Italian cheese known as Bel Paese, a caponata of eggplant, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, salami, and smoked chicken breast await my whims, as well as sardines.  Sardines?  Hmm.

The last decision to make before ordering is between kinds of bread.  I’ve had better luck with two of the breads that cost extra: my favorite remains the semolina ($.50), which is crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, and has a strong flavor to match its outer dusting of sesame seeds.  Others may prefer the sfilatino ($1.50) bread, which is flour-dusted and quite chewy, if not as absorbent.  I’ve not yet tried the focaccia or tramezzino breads ($1 and $1.50, respectively) – the latter is frequently sold out, in fact.

I’m going to make a conscious effort to go to some of my other favorite sandwich places soon, for a little compare-contrast.  It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.  Suggestions are welcomed, either via e-mail or by comment.  For now, I’ll probably be sneaking off to Alidoro in a bit.  I’m an addict, what can I say?

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2 Comments

Filed under NYC

2 responses to “Sandwich addiction threatens nascent food column: film at 11.

  1. I LOVE SARDINES. OH. Lord. …Yes, I love some non-sweet foods. No idea why I love sardines, but I doo.…And I want those cookies.Ever been to Tiny’s Giant Sandwich? I don’t know where else to get such a yummy sandwich for less than $4.I’ve been interested in trying < HREF="http://www.crosbyconnectionnyc.com" REL="nofollow">Crosby Connection<>. Once I tried on a Friday night and it was closed. Maybe the opening times on the website are wrong…

  2. Anonymous

    nothing short of “this is the best sandwich place ever” will do alidoro (a.k.a. melampo) justice.

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