A Sandwich A Day: 'Merques' at Black Iris

A Sandwich a Day

A new sandwich every day.

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.


Peek-a-boo merguez in a pita. [Photograph: Hannah Smith-Drelich]

A good merguez is hard to find. Thin and serpentine or broad and crumbly, this lamb or lamb-and-beef sausage can be too easily over-spiced and overcooked. The Merques sandwich ($7.50) at Black Iris in Fort Greene is none of the above. Succulent and dark red with pepper and paprika, it lies coiled within the pita like a snake waiting to pounce. A garlicky snake.

"Are you going out after this?" asked my waitress when I was seized with ordering indecision on a Saturday night. "Because if you're not, get the merguez." "Nope, I'm not," I lied. Is it even possible to resist something like that after such a warning?

It was worth it, just for the sausage. The rest of the sandwich is less memorable—pita topped with a canopy of chopped lettuce, tomato, and onion, and drizzled with a too-thin splash of tahini. To truly give the merguez its due, you must beef up (er—lamb-up) its surroundings. With a thick dab or two of Black Iris's surprisingly delicate hummus and a splash of their tomatoey hot sauce, this sandwich becomes deserving of the merguez coiled in it.

Black Iris

228 DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11205 (map) 718-852-9800