A Sandwich A Day: Mortadella e Melanzane Panuozzo at San Matteo
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Although San Matteo makes standard pies at their UES location, the restaurant has become better known for their panuozzo—pizza dough sandwiches filled with hefty portions of Italian meats and cheeses. The East Village outpost only serves these calzonewiches, in addition to a selection of coffee and gelato.
The Mortadella e Melanzane ($8) is a hefty sandwich that leaks oil like it's made by BP. Once you get past the small puddle of grease that spills out the ends, the sandwich is a fine specimen. Kept in a display case on the counter, the pizza breads become just slightly stale, which makes them a little chewier than a fresh-baked one. Still, it's a bread with the solid texture and flavor of pizza—although we may have preferred a bit more char. The fillings are pretty standard and plenty smoky, with several slices of perfectly salty mortadella, smoked mozzarella, and marinated eggplant. You can't taste the eggplant much, but it does work to lubricate the whole sandwich, saturating the pizza dough with oil without causing it to fall apart. You may find yourself just wanting a slice of pizza, but for an on-the-go lunch, this is a fine substitute.