Named for the Aegean resort town, Ayvalık toast (spelled "tost" or "tostu" in Turkish) is a popular sandwich containing some variation of sausage, more sausage, cheese, tomato, pickle, and Ayvalık bread. It can be readily found throughout Turkey, especially at tourist kiosks near seaside resorts. Luckily, if you ever feel such a craving locally, there's a place in Midtown that can help you out. The Ayvalik Toast ($6.25) at Mmm...Enfes features hot dogs, sucuk sausage (listed on the menu as "pepperoni"), tomato, pickles, and mozzarella, pressed into a fairly compact double decker.
The sausages differ from each other significantly—the sucuk lends a mild, dry spice, not unlike merguez, while the hot dogs satisfy in a cheap, microwaved supermarket hot dog sort of way—but they work together nicely. The tomatoes and pickles add a nice tang into the mix, which is rounded out nicely by the mozzarella and middle layer of bread. We're not sure if the bread is genuine Ayvalık, but it did taste a lot like rye, and that's almost always good thing. While the non-exotic list of ingredients (mostly the hot dogs) make this sandwich seem like something from the Dream Cafe, it all ties together nicely into a simple, cheap, and satisfying lunch.
About the author: Ben Jay is an editorial intern at Serious Eats, photographer, carnivore, beer and whisky drinker, and music nerd. Imagen Sinefeld still on TV? You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.