On a recent visit to New York, Mark took an afternoon to sample the local culinary delights whilst discovering the cultural history of the East Village …through the medium of the humble sandwich. 3 hours, 3 sandwiches (shared with 3 friends – he isn’t that greedy!)
First up, the iconic New York pastrami. Originally from eastern Europe, Pastrami was introduced to the United States in a wave of Jewish migration from Romania as early as 1872, and is now the staple on every New York deli menu. Spoilt for choice with places to get this, but one of the top dogs is Harry and Ida’s. Owned by descendants of Hungarian immigrants to New York, they do a mean Pastrami sandwich, with slabs of brined brisket served up with cucumber kraut, anchovy mustard and fresh dill, all stuffed into a white roll. Delicious!
Finally, an eastern delight, the Banh Mi. Since the end of the Vietnam war in 1975 there was significant Vietnamese migration to all over the USA, but with a sizeable Vietnamese community developing in New York City. And with those communities came their delicious Banh Mi sandwich. Mark headed to Xe May in St Mark’s Place, for the ‘Super Club Classic’, a super charged Americanised version of the classic baguette, stuff with all manner of porky and spicey things. Zingy!
To wash it all down, Mark and friends headed off for a crafty locally brewed beer.
You could easily do this tour on your own, but if you want to do what Mark did, get the full experience and historical guide of the area with Ben, a delightful Air BNB local host. He offers personal guides through the history and sandwich delights of the area several times a week – highly recommended.