On Friday I posted my Top 5 sandwiches. In a matter of fairness, is are the Bottom 5 Sandwiches I have ever had. These are the sandwiches I will never order again (some of which I have yet to write about and have no plans on writing about them.)

1. Every sandwich from Subway

2. The Popeye Way from This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef

3. The American Sub from the World’s Best Sandwich Truck

4. The Tuna Fish from Piccolo Cafe

5. Leo’s Classic Club from Leo’s Bagels

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The Piccolo Cafe

August 30, 2011

The Piccolo Cafe focuses on Italian-style paninis, pastas, and coffee. Although I love coffee and pasta, I focused on the paninis.

THE ROASTED TURKEY SANDWICH

I felt really good about the Piccolo Cafe after my first sandwich, the roasted turkey panini which also featured mayo, mesculun greens, and marinated tomatoes (although I couldn’t tell what the tomatoes were marinated in). The turkey was cubed, which was surprising as I thought it would be sliced, and heavily marinated in the mayo. This is one of those sandwiches were the ingredients are combined so perfectly that there is an even amount in each bite. Which in turn means that all of the ingredients go extremely well together and form an almost perfect sandwich.

Sadly, after this sandwich, my other choices were not as wise (or as good).

PROSCIUTTO SANDWICH

Where's the beef?

I’m not a big prosciutto fan to begin with, and this sandwich didn’t do anything to help me change my mind. The main reason: This sandwich was severely lacking in prosciutto. It was more ciabatta than anything. This sandwich also features buffalo mozzarella and arugula but they don’t really add anything to this sandwich because they were also barely there. Although, it does look like there is more arugula that prosciutto, there isn’t really enough of either. This sandwich is also very tough to eat. The sandwich is also very dry, made even drier by crispiness of the ciabatta. The sandwich needs more oil, either olive or EVO, which could possible make the sandwich tastier, and it would also make the sandwich a little softer.

 

TUNA FISH

Lastly, I tried the tuna fish and mozzarella and I was extremely disappointed. The main reason for my disappointment with this sandwich is it tasted exactly like the tuna sandwiches I make at home. The difference is I would have added some extra flavor with pepper, onion, celery, and dried cranberries. SOMETHING needs to be added to enhance the flavor.

When I opened the sandwich the mozzarella looked like it was lumped into one spot at the center of the sandwich rather than spread across the bread. As you reach the butt of the sandwich, it’s all tuna and no mozzarella. It was tasteless and inconsistent, two of the worst things I sandwich can be. I can’t recommend ordering this sandwich because it’s just a regular tuna sandwich that any Tom, Dick, or Harry could make in his own kitchen. And I hate ordering food that I could just as easily make at home.

BREADS

Piccolo offers either ciabatta or focaccia for the paninis. The ciabatta has been one of the few highlights for each sandwich. It’s crisp, airy, and very tasty and works well with all of the sandwiches I ordered.

SIDE

Each sandwich comes with a side “salad”: mesculun greens with oil and vinegar. It’s minimalist yet effective.

THE MENU

The only real problem I have is the lack of description on the menu. For example, “The WORKS OMLETTE” has no information as to what exactly, is in the omlette. Why would I want to order this? I don’t want mystery with my food, especially omlettes. And I have no idea what their definition of “WORKS” is.

CONCLUSION

The sandwiches are moderately priced but you’re definitely taking your chances. Once you find a sandwich you like, stick with that one and don’t stray unless you like to be disappointed in your lunch.

Piccolo Cafe is located at 157 3rd Avenue (www.piccolocafe.us/157-3rd-ave)

There’s a glut of food trucks in Manhattan. Sandwiches, wafels & dinges, frozen yogurt, burgers, lobster rolls, you name it, we’ve got it. I’ve been intrigued by the “World’s Best Sandwich Truck”. The truck used to a be a deli, but once they were bought out they switched to a truck and have been serving sandwiches from it since 2006. After trying two sandwiches, it’s safe to say that they are most definitely not the world’s best sandwiches.

Spanish Sub
My first choice was the Spanish Sub. It had the makings of my kind of sandwich: chicken cutlet, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and jalapeno; and the main reason I choose this sandwich was the jalapenos. I enjoy jalapenos but, due to a lack of creativity, I only add them to tacos and burritos. I thought having them on the sandwich would provide a little bit of a kick. I was expecting spicy molecules to attack my tongue, alas, there was no attack that day. Why? The center of the jalapenos were cutout, which meant the sandwich did not have the spice I was hoping for.

The chicken was thin, which was good for this sandwich, but the rest of the ingredients never really gelled. The avocado was too thick. Rather than being used as a dressing for the sandwich, it was just three or four large chunks unevenly spaced out. The lettuce and tomato cluttered the sandwich with unneeded ingredients. This would have been a better sandwich if the jalapenos were spicy and there were fewer ingredients. Replace the lettuce and tomato with a light salsa or a pico de gallo and I think we’re starting to get somewhere. As it stands, the sandwich isn’t worth trying, Although full, there was a sense of disappointment after finishing the sandwich. Weeks later, it’s sad that my main memory from this sandwich is my disappointment in the lack of spice.

American Sub

The American Sub (aka The Lettuce Monster)

On my second visit I choose even more poorly. The American Sub features ham, turkey, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. I was shocked to find that these ingredients did not go together at all because the sandwich was virtually tasteless, except for the lettuce.

Look at the picture: the sandwich has more lettuce than meat and you can taste that with each and every bite, On the rare times that I was able to taste the meat, it tasted as if there were only 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of turkey on the sandwich. Then it was back to the lettuce. The tomato and the mayo were nonexistent.

The sandwich was just not good on any level, and there’s no point in beating this horse to death.

Conclusion
The sandwiches are affordable and the workers are friendly, but these are two of the worst sandwiches that I’ve ever had. These aren’t the world’s best sandwiches, not even close. They’re low-end deli sandwiches from a food truck. They aren’t memorable and they aren’t tasty.

The World’s Best Sandwich Truck is parked on 20th St. between 5th Ave and Park Ave.  (Although they don’t have a proper online presence, their menu can be found at: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/worlds-best-sandwich-truck/menu)

Not Trying It II

April 19, 2011

(The second in a series detailing the heavily promoted sandwiches from fast food restaurants that give sandwiches a bad name.)

Au Bon Pan – The Regio Sandwich – There’s something inherently wrong with a sandwich with three Italian meats made the French way.

7-11’s 99 cent sausage sandwich – It’s just sausage and a biscuit; talk about barely fulfilling the definition of a sandwich.

Dunkin Donuts returns with two sandwiches: The Big N’ Toasty and the Chicken Salad Sandwich. The former looks like they threw whatever was leftover on the grill on two slices of french toast, while the latter looks like celery and mayonnaise on a croissant.

McDonald’s Double Fish Filet – I don’t even want this when it’s one “fish”

Leo’s Bagels

December 10, 2010

Having recently switched jobs, I found myself in a new part of town: The Financial District. Hoping to find myself some new sandwich shops, I quickly learned that I was surrounded by Subways. (Side Note: Is this why tourists come to my city? To eat Subway?). Thus, finding new sandwich shops hasn’t been easy. I soon stumbled upon Leo’s Bagels and it was nice to find somewhere that specialized in sandwiches.

Leo’s Classic Club

Thinking this was the house sandwich, I ordered Leo’s Classic Club. I was confident that this was the best sandwich to try.

I was wrong. Why? Because it worries me when I order a sandwich and the sandwich maker has to consult the board with the list of ingredients before making my sandwich. Especially when the sandwich only has four simple ingredients (turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato).

All around, the sandwich was very dry. The bacon was over cooked to the point of shattering in my mouth when I took a bite. Although tasty, the turkey was also a little dry. The sandwich was in need of dressing, and mayo is the only dressing that I can think of that would have made this sandwich better and I’m kicking myself for not thinking to ask for it.

Other than the dryness, there was nothing memorable about this sandwich and, based on taste, there is no reason to order this sandwich again.

The Catskills

Oh, the high hopes I had for this sandwich. Roast beef. Muenster. Russian dressing. Cole Slaw. Oh, how disappointed I was.

First mistake: They gave me turkey instead of roast beef. Rather than have them re-make the sandwich, I took it anyway.

Second mistake: The Cole slaw was on the side, not on the sandwich. Considering that all of their sandwiches come with Cole slaw on the side, I incorrectly assumed that this sandwich had the Cole slaw on it. Maybe if the sandwich maker had read the board, he would have known what to put on the sandwich.

Finally, the bagel was just too big. Trying to squeeze the sandwich into an edible portion caused the dressing to force the cheese and turkey out of the back end and onto my plate. Thus, the structural integrity of the sandwich was utterly ruined and I was picking chunks of turkey off my plate.

Like the Classic Club, the turkey is good and tasty; it just needs to be placed on better sandwiches.

Even though I’m a glutton for punishment (as well as a glutton in general), I can’t see subjecting myself to another sandwich at Leo’s. Maybe a bagel with cream cheese, but definitely not a sandwich of any kind.

The search continues.

Sides — Each sandwich comes with a side of Cole slaw and a small pickle. The Cole slaw is small enough and juicy enough to make you want more but the pickle is a tiny sour gherkin and is not my cup of tea.

Leo’s Bagels is located at 3 Hanover Square (www.leosbagels.com/)

Not Trying It

July 9, 2010

There are a lot of sandwiches that I’am willing to try, however, these are the “sandwiches” I will neither try nor review:

The KFC Double-Down – If it’s not between bread, it’s not a sandwich

Dunkin Donuts Tuna Cheddar Melt – I’m not eating a sandwich from a donut shop

Taco Bell Tortada – As the commercial says, it’s not a sandwich

Subway

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.