Philadelphia and New Orleans are great sandwich towns, but in terms of rich history and sheer diversity, it's hard to rival New York — in sandwiches, or anything. In NYC, sandwich trends are over before the rest of us have even tasted them, and there's always something new to try.
When New York Magazine's 51 best sandwiches issue arrives in the mail (with 50 more online), I see it as a scouting mission. What trends ruling the New York sandwich scene can we expect to see next? Here are five to watch from NY Mag's latest list.
- Banh mi. I love $3 Vietnamese sandwiches, and in New York, the street food is everywhere and getting a gourmet spin. In addition to traditional standouts, New York rewards the smoked pork shoulder banh mi from the Fatty 'Cue and the Sloppy Bao from Baoguette (pictured), featuring curried ground beef and jalapeño.
- Cross-cultural combos. I've been saying for years that sandwiches are the real melting pot. Like the BBQ banh mi, NYC sandwiches increasingly combine American classics with exotic ingredients. I'm drooling over the Super Heebster from Russ & Daughters — a bagel sandwich with wasabi-infused flying fish roe — and the Mumbai grilled sandwich from Mumbai Xpress.
- Porchetta. The pork trend is palpable on NY Mag's list, which features lots of this Italian-style roasted pork. From the porchetta calabrese at Salumeria Rosi to the namesake sandwich at Porchetta, the photos alone make my mouth water.
- Biscuits. Why aren't more breakfast sandwiches served on biscuits? If I'm lucky, their preponderance in New York signals a growing trend. I'd love to wake up to a Kentucky ham biscuit at Egg or the locally sourced tower of yumminess from Prime Meats.
- Cubanos. Cuban sandwiches in NYC are the blissful benefit of a large Cuban population. The boroughs offer both old-school Cubanos and high-end interpretations like the roast pork at Colicchio & Sons. I dream of a day when this most excellent of flavor combos becomes an American staple.
Other items of note from New York Magazine's list:
- The sustainable sandwich trend is also surfacing there, though not as much on the West Coast.
- I love that the top 15 features both good ol' Katz's pastrami and the nouveau-deli smoked meat from Mile End.
- The Fort Defiance muffuletta looks like the real deal.
- I'm curious about but sort of scared of uni on a sandwich.
- And finally, why have I never heard of panelle, which is apparently some type of Sicilian potato and chickpea croquette? It shows up on the list multiple times! I'm adding it to my list next time I'm in New York.