An Excellent Chicken Parm Hero at Zito'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.
Zito's Sandwich Shoppe in Park Slope is one of those places that melds the old and new of Brooklyn, serving decidedly classic sandwiches in a hip and refined space, all with an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. Just like their pork braciole, their Chicken Parm ($10.50) is a shining example of just how well that approach works.
Unwrapping the foil reveals a remarkably tidy footlong, and from the first bite, it's obvious that this is a very well-thought out sandwich and not some haphazard greasy spoon monster (not that that's a bad thing.) The ingredients could all stand on their own—the bread is wonderfully crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, the tomato sauce is fresh and made in-house, the chicken is moist, crisp and lightly seasoned, and the mozzarella is mellow and not even remotely rubbery—and they all work together in sandwich harmony to create a truly beautiful thing. Zito's also rotates Sixpoint on tap, and getting a beer really adds another component into that harmonious mix. I had the freshly hoppy Spice of Life: Simcoe ($7).
Despite the sandwich's size (I finished just over half of it with the beer), I experienced almost none of the gross, greasy fullness that usually comes with eating something like this. That cleanness might be almost unsettling to some, especially those of us who enjoy picking stray gobs of mozzarella from foil, but the quality of this sandwich is indisputable. Even as leftovers, it tasted almost as fresh after five minutes in the oven as it did at the restaurant. Zito's chicken parm certainly doesn't tread any new territory, but instead excels in its classic simplicity, and executes it to perfection. In doing so, they've made the best Chicken Parm I've ever had.
About the author: Ben Jay is an editorial intern at Serious Eats, photographer, carnivore, beer and whisky drinker, and music nerd. He had sweet, delicious ice cream after eating the above sandwich. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.