34 and 35 down. 66 to go.
Looking back on my past birthday celebrations, it’s hard not to be nostalgic. I’ve had some pretty memorable nights. Listening to country music while slinging shots of Wild Turkey at the Patriot (3 years in a row). Ignoring my guests, but beating Super Mario Bros. at Barcade. A mature night of jazz and drinking on the Lower East Side. And who could forget this past year, scarfing down hot dogs and Six Point beers at Bark. A birthday boy couldn’t ask for more joyous days. As for my 30th birthday, I knew there was only one thing that would make this night on par with the rest. Knocking the #1 sandwich right off this list. And while I’m at it, I might as well take care of #17 as well. I call it multitasking.
The #1 sandwich in NYC is only served after midnight as part of Fatty Cue’s late night menu. So after a couple of Sportsmen at the Levee, me and my crew stumbled down the street to Fatty Cue where I had reserved some tables in the back room. After not eating all day in preparation for tonight’s agenda, those sandwiches couldn’t come out fast enough. And before long, plates piled high with picturesque sandwiches exited the kitchen and headed in my direction.
The Pork Shoulder Banh Mi came out first. After my first bite, I assumed there must be some confusion. This can’t possibly be #17. Maybe it was the beer talking or the fact that I didn’t eat dinner, but this was the best thing I had ever tasted. The sandwich had such bold flavors that all balanced each other out. The spicy aioli and chilies were hot, giving the sandwich a nice kick in the pants. The fresh, crisp flavor of the cilantro, carrots and “pickled daikon” and the rich intensity of the liver mousse soothed that flame. And oh that smoked pork shoulder! Put that in my pipe and smoke it. If this was #17, I couldn’t wait to try #1.
Well, they did it. I couldn’t have walked into Fatty Cue with higher expectations and this sandwich surpassed them all. It was love at first bite. The bread was toasted and crunchy. The smoked brisket was just like my mama makes it, only a billion times better. The MVP of the night was the smoked cheddar sauce. I wish every sandwich had that sauce on it.
I now understand why Fatty Cue can only sell these sandwiches as part of a late night menu – they couldn’t handle that much traffic. And as if I didn’t have enough sauce on my face, they sent out a bonus plate of pork ribs which were out of the park. Back to back to back grand slams. Normally, I would just encourage you to go try the sandwich(es). Today, I take it one step further. I urge you to consider having your birthday here. Can you think of a better way to celebrate than surrounded by your close friends and plates full of delicious sandwiches? Well, I can’t.
A big thank you to the staff at Fatty Cue – your sandwiches are only as good as your service. I take that back, but the service was pretty good.
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