May 17, 2010

For the sake of fairness, this is the obligatory Subway review. Because, let’s face it, we’ve all had our fair share of Subway sandwiches in our lives. I’ve been eating Subway for a very long time but that doesn’t mean I need to eat it ever again.

My personal poison is the footlong grilled chicken breast, but I fear that it is neither grilled nor chicken. It doesn’t taste like chicken, to me it seems flavorless, even with a healthy dose of mayo. The grill marks look exceptionally fake and, having never seen a grill at any Subway, I have to wonder where the grilling actually takes place. To be honest, I don’t know why I eat this sandwich. By the time you get to the butt of the sandwich, all of the meat is gone, and all you’re left with is bread, lettuce, and may.o Not a good note to end a sandwich ith.

To paraphrase Danny Vermin, aka Joe Piscopo from “Johnny Dangerously”: I had the tuna sandwich once and only once. This sandwich was absolutely horrible. It seemed to consist of 85% mayonnaise and 15% tuna. (I question even that percentage). That average makes for a bad sandwich. A good tuna sandwich should be a minimal amount of mayo to hold the sandwich together and some onions for flavor. That’s not what this sandwich is. This sandwich is much, much wore and I would never recommend it to anyone.  And I won’t go into detail on the intestinal disorder this sandwich gave me.

The service is what the service is. And that, essentially, entails the person behind the counter waiting either patiently or impatiently on you to tell them what toppings you want on your sandwich. And the majority of toppings are items that should be in a salad, not on a sandwich. I don’t want olives, green peppers, or pickles on a sandwich. I want lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo. End of story.

The sandwich seems well constructed until you actually start eating it. Everything falls out of the sandwich, and they your salad ingredients are on your plate, ready to eat as a salad. The outer portion of the bread remains extremely crispy/crunchy after toasting while the interior of the bread gets soggy.

Subway allows you to make whatever sandwich you want with the available ingredients all in the guide of making a healthier sandwich. But how can this be healthier when everything is made from a turkey base with heavy amounts of sodium added?

The long and short of it is, when you’re in a pinch, want a sandwich, are low on funds, and you just want to eat something, Subway will fill you up. But remember, you don’t have to like it. However, when it’s pay day and money is no object and you have time to have a proper sandwich made, avoid Subways. Because in a city such as Manhattan, there’s no need to walk into a Subway when there are so many better options out there.

Location(s): Scattered throughout this and every other city everywhere.



May 10, 2010

It’s plain and simple. I love Alidoro. With over 40 different sandwich options on the menu, there’s a sandwich for everyone’s tastes. I’d love to tell you I’ve tried them all, but I think it’s safe to say I’ve had close to 10 of them. The multitude of sandwich combinations is astonishing. One day I would like to figure out the exact combination of sandwiches they offer, but I’m no math major.

Alidoro specializes in Italian sandwiches, all of which are made from scratch when you order. This isn’t the type of sandwich shop where you call out your order ingredient by ingredient. You review the menu and then order by sandwich name (similar to Defonte’s). Also, these sandwiches are not meat + lettuce, tomato, onion, and salt and pepper. Those ingredients don’t exist here. It’s arugula instead of lettuce. It’s m. bel paese (a spreadable cheese) instead of american/swiss/cheddar (take your pick). It’s caponata of eggplant. It’s sun dried tomatoes. It’s sweet roasted peppers. The combination is staggering, but they all work well together. However, the only ingredient I have a problem with is the mozzarella. It’s cut too thick for a sandwich my liking.

The majority of sandwiches have four ingredients, including the meat, and they all work well together no matter what sandwich you have. My favorite main ingredient is smoked chicken breast (Marina, Brando, Romeo, et al) with the tuna (Daniela, Alessandro) being a close second. As implied in the name, the chicken has a nice smokey taste to it which gives it a richness rarely found in other kinds of chicken sandwiches. Because it’s oil based, the tuna can make the second half of your sandwich a little soggy, however, the flavor interaction between the tuna, the oil, and the other aspects of the sandwich go well together, thus allowing a full-flavored experience. I haven’t had too many of the prosciutto sandwiches because I’m not a big fan of prosciutto to begin with, but, from what I’ve heard, if you like prosciutto, you’ll like these sandwiches.

The bread options are: focaccia, semolina, sfilatino, and tramezzino. They’ve recently added whole wheat and white bread, but there’s no point in getting either of these with the other options available. All of the breads have their pros and cons. Tramezzino is a good choice if you want a wide sandwich on a soft bread but it gets a little mushy depending on how long it sits for and what kind of dressing you have on it. The sfilatino is a good choice if you want a long sandwich with the insides taken out but it gets to be a tough work-out for your mouth toward the end. The semolina is also a hard bread, but not as long as the sfilatinom but takes the same effort, if not more, to finish. Be careful, because if you get to Alidoro too late, they could be out of one, or more, of any of these breads.

These are well-made sandwiches. They rarely, if ever, fall apart, with minimal amount of ingredients left on your place. The arugula is the only ingredient that ever really falls off your sandwich and onto your plate. At times the peppers (either hot or sweet roasted) can bunch up at the bottom and you get it all in one massive bite, but, otherwise, there is an even distribution of ingredients throughout the sandwich. Also, the longer it takes to eat the sandwich, the more dressing will be absorbed by the bread, so be sure to have some napkins on hand.

The pricing is what limits my visits from being more frequent. On average I spend $14 per sandwich, thus making it tough to go more than bi-weekly. Yes, the sandwich is well worth the money, but in these modern times, sometimes the cheaper sandwich has to suffice.

There can be a wait on some days, during peak lunch hours (ie, from 12 PM to 1:30 PM). I’ve seen the line out the door, but patience always pays off for a sandwich of this magnitude.

Most of the time, when you find a sandwich shop that you like and frequent often, you pick one sandwich and repeatedly order that same sandwich. Alidoro is the exception. I can confidently order any sandwich off the menu knowing I will be full and content after I’ve finished.

Alidoro is located at 105 Sullivan St.