A Sandwich a Day: Best Pizza's Meatball Sub
In this great city of ours, you could eat a different sandwich every day—so that's what we do with A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York City. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
"Wow. That meatball sandwich from Best Pizza? That might be the best meatball sandwich I've ever had."
That endorsement, folks, is from no less than our man Ed Levine, after I brought him half the sub from a recent visit to the new Williamsburg pizzeria. Best started making sandwiches a couple weeks ago, and in addition to the meatball, it also offers a chicken Parm sub. Both are $8.
Both sandwiches have as their base a 7-inch-or-so length of bread baked at Roberta's in Bushwick. (The guys from Roberta's are backing partners at Best, along with Brooklyn Star's Joaquin Baca.)
"That bread is perfect for a meatball sandwich," Ed said. And it really is. Plenty flavorful, it's crisp-chewy on the outside with a tender crumb whose open hole structure licks up any tomato sauce that might otherwise spill out the sides. It's the same sauce used on Best's grandma pie, made with crushed tomatoes, garlic, and finely chopped anchovies, all reduced to a thick, savory sandwich-worthy condiment.
The meatballs themselves are a mixture of Pat La Frieda short rib, spices and herbs that Best would not specify, some pecorino Romano, and a little ricotta. And, get this: They're blasted in the wood-fired oven, giving them a slightly chewy sear with a little bit of charring, with the rendered fat poured back on after the meatballs are nestled in the bread.
It's all finished with a little flat-leaf parsley and shavings of aged Romano — all in perfect proportion. This is a meatball sandwich that won't end up on your shirt, which is good, because you're going to want every last bit of it in your stomach. Believe me, Ed's lucky this thing survived the subway ride from Williamsburg to Chelsea.*
* Does this guy have the life or what? Didn't even have to leave his desk to try this — and the sub was still warm.