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.
Overstuffed meatbombs have their place, but some of my favorite deli sandwiches have a good balance of vegetation to keep things a little lighter. Enter the Frank Sinatra at Astoria's Othello Deli ($6.95), a hot prosciutto and provolone sandwich tempered by fried eggplant, roasted red pepper, and a sweet-sour balsamic vinaigrette. What's that you say, fried eggplant isn't that light? Well sure, but it's lighter than more cheese or deli meat, and its sturdy, meaty heft and flavor keep this a filling sandwich that doesn't leave you feeling gross.
Two wishes: more of the sweet red pepper, and a higher eggplant to prosciutto ratio. The eggplant doesn't stay too crisp, but it's dense and not greasy, and it deserves to be the star with just an accent of pork. I'll ask for modifications next time. You can get your sandwich on a roll or hero at Othello. I prefer the roll for this: it's softer and squishier, a bit sweet but smart enough to get out of your way. There's pork and eggplant to eat.