I’ve been on a real sandwich kick lately: a turkey club today at Clydz today, po-boys in New Orleans this weekend, brisket sliders at the Stockton Market the week-end before. I know sandwiches aren’t some sort of lunch revolution for most. But I live in Rome where sandwiches are snacks (tramezzini) or at least feel that way (panini). There isn’t a 10-ingredient 3-condiment hoagie to be found on the whole Italian peninsula. And as someone who grew up eating at Hoagie Haven, that makes me a little sad.
On a recent trip to NYC I made a beeline for Parm, the sandwich shop from Torrisi Italian Specialties that opened in Nolita in November. The place is picking up where TIS left off, serving sandwiches, baked ziti, and the like, while, next door, Torrisi has shifted format to serve prix fixe menus at both lunch and dinner.
Parm is insanely busy at lunchtime, so I went at 4pm when things were quieter (they serve a bar menu from 4-6). I grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered a chicken parm sandwich (a dish that does not exist in Italy but only in the adulterated culture of Italian Americans). It was delivered in a basket a few minutes later. Two juicy fried cutlets were slathered with tomato sauce and smothered in melted mozzarella cheese. Chicken parm at Parm is pretty outstanding. The only thing holding the sandwich back is the cheese, which is that ubiquitous bright white quasi-plasticky variety. Most of it slid off anyway, leaving me to savor a juicy and drippy serving of my native cucina italo-americana.
248 Mulberry Street