Named for the highest peak in the Andes, Panaderia Aconcagua isn’t as scenic as its namesake, but that doesn’t matter since there are plenty of tasty treats to be at this bakery/cafe. The display case is filled with all manner of sweets and breads from Argentina and Uruguay but I was most intrigued by the sandwiches, which are clearly influenced by the Italian population from the region. When asked about the sandwich de miga, the girl behind the counter pointed out a boring premade ham and cheese on crustless white bread. They also serve a pretty standard Italian combo with mortadella, salami, etc. Then I peered into the cold cut case where I saw a rectangular rolled product that stopped me in my tracks.
And that is how I came to have my first sandwich de matambre. The crusty bread contained what I surely thought was pork belly, because of its fatty layer. Beyond the ring of meat in the first half was a ring of spinach with a few bits of carrots and a hard-boiled egg at the center. The Argentine lunch meat on the other half had a ribbon of red pepper in place of the spinach since it came from the other side of the sandwich. The whole thing was dressed with mayo, and it was really good as is, and even better with a drizzle of tabasco. What I thought was pork belly actually turned out to be made with beef flank steak, and the whole thing was surprisingly filling, which shouldn't have been a surprise, since the name matambre comes from combining the spanish words for "kill" and "hunger."
It didn’t quite kill my hunger as promised, but that was all right considering all the sweets to be had. On a shelf in the pastry case were alfajores de maizena, Argentine dulce de leche sandwich cookies in three sizes; jumbo, medium and miniature. I opted for the miniature ones, which were incredilbly satsifying despite being a little less buttery than their Peruvian cousins because they're made with corn meal dough. My favorite part about them was their resemblance to tiny burgers, but thankfully they didn’t contain any beef. I probably would have entered a protein coma.
48-04 108 Street, Corona, NY 11368 (map) 718-271-8473
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