I would do whatever this man told me to. I would cut off all my hair. I would join a nunnery. I would stop watching “For the Love of Ray J”…well maybe not THAT, but almost everything else. I mean, I owe him. We all do. This is the fourth Earl of Sandwich-and I bet you can guess what he invented.
I mean-what is more delicious than a sandwich? Melty, stretchy, sharp cheddar on buttery, toasty sourdough bread when it is cold outside. Smooth mozzarella, sweet tomatoes, pungent basil on pliant rosemary flecked focaccia when it is hot. Garlicky, tahini filled hummus with fiery mango sauce and falafel, crispy on the outside, dense and parsley filled on the inside, all tucked into a freshley chared pita-I mean that’s the meal to HAVE when you are in Israel!! But I digress….
This is where I went for lunch yesterday
On a somewhat abandoned stretch of Ninth Avenue, just past the Port Authority overpass lies Sandwich Planet.
Do not be deterred by the tumbleweeds of soda bottles and other garbage rolling past you as you walk by Port Authority or the questionable old men who tell you that you have a pretty smile (because lets face it…you do)
Just go inside and be greeted by a very friendly server who shows you to a booth or table. It is a sunny, casual restaurant, with $3 beer happy hours and a VAST and inexpensive menu-it’s hard to spend over $10 a person here if you stick with the delicious sandwiches and salads. They use all kinds of bread from the Sullivan Street Bakery, imported meats, and cheeses, and homemade sauces that include everything from Bayou Mayo to Truffle Oil! There are entrees like Fish and Chips and Steak, but honestly-the place is called Sandwich Planet, not Entree Planet.I just stick with the sandwiches.
Kyle got the Bourbon Street, which is a chicken breast served blackened, with bacon, melted jack cheese, sauteed onions, and bayou mayo on toasted sourdough bread. Bayou mayo is like chipotle mayo’s redneck cousin-a little more familiar, a little less sophisticated, a lot less spicy.
The sandwich itself was AWESOME-a medium thickness chicken breast that was coated in cajun spices, charred on both sides but still juicy on the inside. And it was an even thickness all the way through-don’t you just HATE when a chicken fillet is thin on the outside then by the time you are at the middle of the sandwich, it’s a freakin double D chicken breast you are biting through?? Well I HATE that-and this avoided that quite nicely. The bayou mayo probably had Old Bay seasoning and a tiny bit of cayenne in there-any real chili heads will want to add the habenero bbq sauce that I am just dying to try! The bacon was not so crispy in tore the roof of one’s mouth,and with the sweet onions and melty jack cheese… Meaty, spicy, saucy…this was a man’s sandwich, and MAN did I like it! (insert laugh track)
I ordered the H1, with guacamole, salsa, cheddar cheese, onion, tomato, and bacon on toasted sourdough. Because no sandwich is not improved by bacon. This was served room temperature, though the cheese was melted to allow the tomato to adhere to it. The salsa was fresh and delicious, and though I thought the guac could have used a TOUCH more cilantro, it was limey, the avocados were fresh, and the serving was abundant. The trifecta of cheese, vegetable, and bacon was just shown off perfectly here-it was light yet filling, and had a south of the border air that makes you banish all other BLT’s to the tower (insert people who have read “The Other Boelyn Girl” here…).
Of course, man does not live on bacon filled sandwiches alone, so we got some fries…and hot DAMN were they deLICIOUS!! They took a little bit longer to get to the table than the main dishes, but by the time we were 1/4 of the way through our sandwiches, they arrived. The fries were PIPING hot, clearly just fried potatoes coated in what seemed like a thin dusting of flour, paprika, and CRACK COCAINE. I didn’t stop till these babies were gone. They were clearly fried in very hot oil since the grease was minimal and the potatoes were fluffy inside and crunchy outside-not a limp one in the bunch (that’s what she said). Kyle liked to dip them in the bayou mayo, but with all fries, I an a fan of ketchup. Something about the tartness of the ketchup seems to slice right through the fat of the fries, and before you know it…I have convinced myself I am eating a nutritionally responsible snack!
All this was under 20 bucks for the both of us-and I took home half my sandwich! (which of course i have eaten by now). So go. Its cute, it’s cheap, it’s delicious, and it is LOCAL. We have a responsibility to support local businesses so chains do not monopolize the wonderfully heterogeneous society that is NYC. This is a little step we can take to make sure NYC stays unique and original. And besides- you owe it to the Earl of Sandwich.