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A Sandwich a Day: Broccoli Rabe and Mozzarella Hero at Buon Appetite in Astoria
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.
There are times when only a 12-inch hero sandwich will do, but I wasn't expecting to love this monster Broccoli Rabe and Mozzarella ($8) from Buon Appetit in Astoria as much as I did. It's actually far better than their meaty hero sandwiches that I've tried. (Though if you want meaty, Adam has a pick there for you, along with more on this Ditmars deli.)
Not much a secret to this one; it's simply perfectly cooked broccoli rabe—tender florets, crisp stalk—washed well with olive oil and spiked nicely with chili and garlic. Fresh mozz could be a hair more melted, and the bread would have appreciated a touch more crust-crumb textural contrast, but this hits an excellent balance of oily, spicy, garlicky, and gooey, with that awesome foundation of sweet, bitter rabe. Can a vegetarian sandwich be craveable in the way that only New York Italian sandwiches are? Yes, yes it can.