A Sandwich a Day: Chicken Parm at Forlini's
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.
Chicken parm is an Italian restaurant lunchtime mainstay, and Forlini's, cut off by Chinatown from what remains of Little Italy, is exactly the sort of old school Italian restaurant where you'd expect to find such a thing. As such, the Chicken Cutlet Parmigiana Hero ($8) is a big, meaty, cheesy beast of a sandwich that definitely hits the spot in a way that only a big sandwich can, but doesn't stand out too much otherwise.
Opening the foil to-go wrapping reveals copious ample oozing melted mozzarella and pounded-thin chicken breast fried to a deep, heavy crisp. The crispiness certainly does not disappoint, though the chicken within is a little bit dry, but not terribly so. Likewise, the mozzarella is just a little bit rubbery, but still satisfying.
The bread is one of the sandwich's strong points, and could best be described as pillowy, even after making the trip from the restaurant back to the office. However, the sauce stands out as one of the more unusual ingredients. Several of us noted that the sauce could have been a lot brighter, before realizing that Forlini's had actually used a meat sauce, which we thought was quite an unusual twist. We'd still like some brightness, but the deep, browned meatiness has its own appeal.
It's a reasonable deal and a satisfying sandwich from a restaurant lost in time, even if it doesn't stand out among today's best. For good measure, we also tried the Broccoli Rapa with Grilled Chicken ($13), but that was somehow even greasier. Still, I'd happily go back for more.
About the author: Ben Jay is an editorial intern at Serious Eats, photographer, carnivore, beer and whisky drinker, and music nerd. He is happiest when given poutine. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.