Monday, March 21st, 2011

How You Can Make The Most Delicious Sandwich In New York City

Would you like to learn how to make the most delicious sandwich available to eat in New York City? It's easy and not very expensive.

First, go to one of the noodle shops called Xi'an Famous Foods. This is a chain that started in Flushing Queens (locations at 41-28 Main Street and 133-31 39th Avenue), but now has two outposts in Manhattan: one in Chinatown, just north of East Broadway, on the outside of the East side of the base of the Manhattan Bridge—this is the one I usually go to. And one in the East Village, at 81 St. Mark's Place. When you're there, order the spicy cumin lamb burger ("B2" on the menu, $3.00), which is not really a "burger," but more just chunks of lamb dredged in cumin and cooked with onion and garlic. Also order the tiger vegetables salad ("L1," $4.50), which is not made with any actual tiger products (thank God, as tigers are extremely endangered!) but is rather cilantro, celery, scallions and chili peppers in sesame oil and vinegar and (I think?) a citrus juice. (Lime?)

When they give you your food, open up the sandwich, which is made with a pita-like bread (the proprietors of Xi'an Famous Foods hail from The Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in Western China, a predominantly Muslim area than borders Pakistan and Afghanistan), and put some of the tiger salad on top of the lamb, then close the sandwich. Voila! You have made yourself the most delicious sandwich in all of New York, if not the entire world. You are an excellent chef.

29 Comments / Post A Comment

Ronit (#1,557)

That sounds excellent. Thank you. Hooray for Uighur food.

mathnet (#27)


melis (#1,854)

Spend twenty minutes picking the cilantro specks out of the salad, then enjoy.

iantenna (#5,160)

boo! where does this large anti-cilantro contingent live? they're like fans of the national, i know they exist but, fortunately, i don't know any of them.

melis (#1,854)

I wish I weren't part of it! Cilantro is often in the most delicious of foods. But I can't help it; one whiff and it's like someone's poured liquid hand soap into my food.

Also, San Francisco, I guess.

iantenna (#5,160)


melis (#1,854)

But all the good lesbian bars are there! I don't want to have to go to the Lex!

iantenna (#5,160)

wait, there's lesbian specific bars here? which ones? i thought we just had lots of bars and lots of lesbians.

I enjoy both cilantro and The National. I'm like a Bigfoot sighting.

melis (#1,854)

Yes, but what lesbian bars do you frequent?

iantenna (#5,160)

i guess none, technically. i used to go to the white horse on occasion when i lived in the neighborhood years ago. but it seems there's always a heavy lesbian contingent at just about every bar around the lake, especially baggy's. googling it, there's some place called bench & bar that i've definitely never been too. beyond that and the white horse, what is there in oakland that is gay/lesbian specific? educate me.

melis (#1,854)

Oh man definitely Honeydip at the Ibota lounge. Bench and Bar is also pretty excellent! Parkway Lounge is still good although less happening now that the theater's closed. Plus you guys have all the good tiki bars. You have everything.

iantenna (#5,160)

you know, i've been to the parkway lounge a buncha times but never noticed one way or the other. always thought there was your usual oakland mix in there. i will say, i like that bar but they charge SF prices for mixed drinks, fuck that noise i don't pay $7 for a maker's and coke in oakland. didn't even know the ibota lounge existed, last i knew it was a soul food/bbq joint there.

you know you can move here, right? you'll save money on rent, too.

brent_cox (#40)

I've had the lamb burger and can only imagine how monumental it would be with the salad on it.

Though if you go to the Manhattan Bridge location, you should bring a TV tray or some other table-type contraption for use as a work surface. And maybe some extra napkins.

Rebecca (#3,032)

Just walk to the park a block away, grab a seat at the chess tables/picnic benches and ignore the rats!

deepomega (#1,720)

Every word of this sounds delicious. Question: does licking the screen taste anywhere as delicious as eating the sandwich? Because I am several thousand miles from the sandwich!

Dave Bry (#422)

Lick on the link.

(And on your next visit, definitely try the real thing!)

barnhouse (#1,326)

Agree profoundly with @deepomega. This was really quite painful to read from the sandwichless confines of California. Distress more or less abated with the aid of celestial wok-tossed noodles from Gingergrass (Silverlake). Don't put those in a sandwich, though.

cherrispryte (#444)

Oh, Uyghurs.

phoneranger (#1,954)

Can't anyone keep a secret? It's a real drag waiting in line for 30mins behind gaggles of Euro-food-tourists.

Bittersweet (#765)

St. Mark's Place reminds me of the Tibetan restaurant my sister and I frequented when I worked a lot in New York. Is that still there?

Ronit (#1,557)

I had the momos there. Disappointing.

hman (#53)

The first time I had one, I was a little turned off that the sandwich came pre-made and wrapped up but it was so delicious I stopped caring. I'll definitely have to try that salad.

Dave Bry (#422)

Oh, that's strange that it was pre-made. Usually when I go, they make the sandwich fresh—including stretching the dough and frying the pita. I went yesterday. (And all this talking about it is gonna have me back soon.)

GailPink (#9,712)

I would like to eat this sandwich.

caw_caw (#5,641)

Dave I am far from NY. I will pay you to make an AWL COOKS video for the rest of us.

binkyfofo (#8,556)

I love cilantro, myself, but there's a whole thing about cilantro-hating. They say it's genetic maybe. Julia Childs was one: "I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor."

JoeDiStefano (#10,638)

Dave thanks so much for enabling me to taste one of my favorite sandwiches with new eyes…I mean tastebuds…dang synesthesia!

Dave Bry (#422)

Oh, I'm so glad you tried it and enjoyed it! And wrote it up so nicely and took such great photos!

(And thank you for correcting me as to the location of Xi'an. Like so many products of the American education system, I suck at geography.)

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