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.
While this slender Brazilian cafe in Nolita probably won't make it into our regular lunch rotation, its crisp pork and cheese Calabreza sandwich ($11) makes for a decent, if Nolita-pricey lunch.
Its true strength lies in its foundation: thin slices of flavorful sourdough, pressed cooked until golden and crisp with a bit of chew at the center, and nearly saturated with a generous measure of olive oil. We wouldn't mind eating it plain, or maybe as the accompanying toast point to a hearty soup.
Here it surrounds a couple half-links of Brazilian pork sausage, a mainstay of the country's cuisine, borrowed back in the day from Brazil's substantial Italian immigrant population (hence the sandwich's name, Calabrese). The sausage itself is intensely porky with a light smoky-spiced flavor, however we were slightly put off by its casing, which was snappy in some spots but chewy in others.
Caramelized onions are as good a companion to the sausage as ever, lending the sandwich a necessary moment of sweetness, and shreds of Gruyère contribute a bit of nuttiness which pairs well with the bread; more of it would have been even better. The sandwich is topped off with a few bright spoonfuls of pico de gallo, made with little else than fresh-tasting tomatoes and an echo of red wine vinegar, which bring it moisture and a refreshing finish.
The sandwich is slender but not exactly light; those heavy ingredients add up. It comes with a side arugula salad to round out the plate.