The pork bun at Kuma Inn was my introduction to steamed sandwiches, and it was love at first bite. From the bread to the meat to the sauce, this sandwich is perfect. (The pork bun features pulled pork topped with daikon and sliced scallions and a sauce of unknown ingredients.) Some complain that the pork buns are too much bun and not enough pork. I wholeheartedly disagree. I rarely had a bite that had more of one ingredient than another. All of the ingredients compliment one another to make every bite of the sandwich equally delicious. Although I’m not sure what the sauce is, it’s perfect for dipping, and it’s always best to get a little extra on the side. The pork buns come two to a plate, but you’ll easily find yourself salivating for a third (or fourth). Finally, it’s never on the menu, but it’s always on special, which means I have no idea how much it costs.

Kuma Inn is located at 113 Ludlow St., 2nd Floor (www.kumainn.com/) and can be found on Twitter @kumainn_uminom.

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The Gramercy Meat Market

February 1, 2012

Although not a traditional sandwich shop, the Gramercy Meat Market makes one of the best roast beef sandwiches I’ve ever had. I kept my sandwich simple: roast beef, Swiss cheese, and mayo, and it was still huge. This sandwich was, hands down, the best roast beef sandwich I have ever had in my life.

The sandwich is created the old fashioned way, by hand. The butcher takes a slab of freshly cooked roast beef and slices it by hand with a large carving knife. I’m sure slicing five slabs of roast beef isn’t fun or easy, but I was entranced by this sandwich making. The roast beef looked like it was cooked medium well, it wasn’t so red that you thought the meat was still alive, but it was cooked well enough to retain al of its flavor, but there was still a nice amount of blood to keep the meat fresh and juicy. A little generic mayo was added to the ciabata bread and, after being amazed by its preparation, it was time to take the sandwich home.

A Delicious Sandwich that You Will Never Eat

The Swiss cheese was one of the sharpest Swiss cheeses I’ve ever had. It tasted like Swiss cheese is supposed to taste. It’s fresh, not overly processed, which gives it the sharpness most other Swiss cheeses are missing.

I couldn’t find a single flaw in this sandwich. All of the ingredients went well together. The roast beef was cooked perfectly. The Swiss was the best I’ve ever had.

The sandwich is extremely affordable ($7 after taxes) and extremely large (at least a foot long), you feel like you’re taking advantage of the Gramercy Meat Market by paying such a small price for such a great sandwich. There’s no way anyone could be disappointed in this sandwich.

Since it’s not a traditional sandwich shop, the Gramercy Meat Market isn’t always prepared to make this sandwich upon request. You can either take your chances by walking in and asking for it or you can call ahead to see if they’re making roast beef sandwiches on any given day. You get so excited walking there that when they don’t have it, disappointment quickly sets in. I’m calling ahead next time I’m craving it.

The Gramercy Meat Market is located at 383 B 2nd Avenue.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sadly, the last time I walked past the Gramercy Meat Market, the store wasn’t open and the windows were covered with paper on the inside. I don’t know if this means they’re renovating or they’ve gone out of business. I’m hoping for the former.