A Sandwich a Day: Polpettine Panino at Basil Brick Oven 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.
I have to agree with Adam that if you're going to include meatballs in something, they should stay whole. Sliced meatballs are just ground meat circles, and if you're going to use those, you might as well treat them like sausage and brown both sides until they're crisp and extra flavorful.
Basil Brick Oven Pizza in Astoria does slice their balls in this enormous panino-meets-calzone meatball sandwich ($9.25). But don't let that stop you from ordering it. The ample helping of tender meatballs, made punchy by Parmesan, is a beautiful thing, and it's not overwhelmed by a simple tomato sauce unmarred by gravy-like cooking or dashes of dried herbs. Basil's ricotta and house-made mozzarella are creamy and rich, sure, but they're mainly here to bring some dairy lightness (heh) to all the meat. They succeed, and if this thing is an enormous, heavy sandwich, it's at least a balanced one.