Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Canwiches' New York Trip Vol 4(1) - Cleaning out my Sandwich Closet

Sometimes writers block, even for a only quasi-serious Sandwich blogger, requires extreme forces in order to break through.

In this case it took a bad cold, 2 doses of cough syrup and an urge to move on before my memories fade.

So without further delay, I present to you the rest of my NY Sandwich Trip

1) Entry #1 - Second Ave Deli:

The recently re-opening of the 2nd Ave Deli, no longer famously located just off "3rd avenue", led to a major sigh of relief for NYC Deli lovers. While lacking the international clout of Katz's,2nd Ave Deli throws down classic NYC deli meats along with the rest of the Ashkenaz classics that frequent readers will now occupy a special place in my heart (namely one of the already partially clogged arteries).  2nd Ave opened in 54, but closed in 2006 following the tragic murder of Deliman Abe Lebewohl and an unfortunate rent dispute by new proprietor Jack Lebewohl.

2nd Ave Deli represents everything great and classic about NYC deli. Tradition, tasty smoked meats, and all the right fixins, toppings and noshes.

I was joined on this mission by noted Fressers' Lindsay and her surname-as-first-name BF.

We started off with the Chopped Liver as modeled by Barnett above. It was creamy and rich, with a prominent tastes of schmaltz and onions throughout.  They were served with plates of Pickled Peppers, Full Dills, Half-Sours to round the forspeis  selection

A powerful start indeed.

Next up was the Main Event for me. The Pastrami Sandwich:

The meat featured a nice mild smokiness, fantastic notes of pepper, garlic, salt and even a mild sweetness. The marbling was absolutely fantastic. The rye bread held up very well with very little content push-through.

As well I even enjoyed the portioning of this Pastrami compared to the Herculean offerings at Stage, Carnegies.

As expected, fantastic selections of mustard.

Barnett ordered the Corned Beef, which looked just as tasty. While I only had a small piece it seemed like it had a whole other range of subtle and delightful tastes to pick up on:

Overall Judgment: 9.25/10 Opas

Entry # 2 - The Smile 

At my sister's urging, I visited the coffee shop she works at, the Smile. In what I can only reluctantly describe as a exuding breathlessly Manhattan charm, the Smile serves excellent coffee, formerly housed a Tattoo Parlour, and serves up some extremely tasty food. 

I tried two Sandwiches there:

Thinking outside the usual Sammy template, the Smile's iteration features  Harissa Honey Roasted Breast, Red Peppers, Manchego and is served with Presererved Lemon-Mayo on a fresh Baguette. 

The result is a nice, somewhat gooey, fresh tasting Chicken Sandwich. The flavours worked well, if not mindbogglingly well together and the bread held up well to the condiment. Perhaps it was the Manchego and lemon-mayo but it felt like a very springtime appropriate Sandwich, and one that would be equally good on go. 

The Sandwich I was most interested in at the Smile was their Manouri Cheese & Fig Sandwich. Featuring Manouri, a semi-soft Greek Cheese (think of it as Feta's creamier, less salty cousin), a delicious fig preserve, always deliciously decadent truffle oil, pear & arugla served on toasted Sour Dough. 

The textures of the Fig preserve and the pears matched perfectly with the softness of the Manouri. The cheese velvety texture seemed to push the preserve to every piece of the Sandwiches' surface area (SSA for short).  The whole Sandwich had a very delicate, exquiste taste to it and makes for a perfect lunch IMO. My only complaint was that I found the crust on the sourdough a little tough for my tastes

Overall Judgment: 8/10 Opas