A Sandwich a Day: Cevapi at Ukus 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.
Bosnian burek house Ukus in Astoria is a treasure trove of Balkan eats: massive, excellent burek of course, and a chicken soup I'll be sipping once a week when the weather turns cool, but the Cevapi stuffed in pita may be my favorite. $12 buys a "full" sandwich that can feed three; $6 gets you a "half" that you still may need help on.
Cevapi are slender Balkan minced meat kebabs, about the diameter of a hot dog but half the length. They're springy, but not emulsified, and they should be juicy, preferably garlicky, and nicely charred. Ukus' succeed on all counts, especially on the garlic part (seriously). In the "full" order, ten cevapi come in a thick, slightly chewy pita whose breadiness offers some relief from the intensely seasoned meat. Stuff it with the minced onions, ajvar (smoky red pepper spread), and creamy, tangy kaymak (a soured clotted cream) for a taste of Eastern European kebab sandwich heaven.
42-08 30th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11103 (map)