#89: Zucchini Parm – No. 7 Sub

47 down. 54 to go.

Evolution is a part of life, especially in the culinary world. Restaurants are constantly changing their menu to incorporate new ideas, provide different options and include seasonal ingredients. As a result, The Quest must roll with the punches and adapt to these changes. While almost all of No. 7 Sub’s sandwiches are capable of making the top 101 list, their Eggplant Parm was the sandwich that did just that. And for reasons unbeknownst to be, after winning this prestigious award, they decided to change the sandwich. Perhaps not the best marketing decision, but they seem to be doing alright without my opinion. All but one of the ingredients on this sandwich remain the same — instead of eggplant, they now use zucchini. In this particular case, I don’t consider this bending the rules of The Quest, especially considering zucchini is basically just a green, anorexic version of eggplant.

On this particularly overcast Wednesday, my cousin-in-law, Arie, was in town all the way from Israel. He’s a huge fan of The Quest and currently the farthest person to travel for a sandwich. If he can travel all the way from Israel for a sandwich, I can surely travel a couple of stops uptown on the subway to meet him. So before the skies had a chance to open up and pour down on us, myself, Arie, and my wife, Jamie, found a beautiful outdoor area to sit and enjoy our conquest.

New York Magazine made this list of the 101 best sandwiches in NYC, and you’re telling me only one had chips on it? Bravo, No. 7 Sub. I’m thoroughly impressed. Not only was this sandwich delicious, but it had all of the essential ingredients to make a great sandwich, perhaps even a great meal:

1. Bread: A sandwich by definition requires bread, and this toasted foot-long satisfied that niche perfectly.
2. Cheese: Man, I hate people who order sandwiches without cheese – just get a salad. This particular sandwich included melted Fontina, which didn’t overpower the sandwich and added just the right about of creaminess.
3. Fried Stuff: Fried stuff is awesome, especially on a sandwich. And that fact that this is a vegetarian sandwich, means that even though it’s probably not that healthy for you, it feels like it is.
4. Something Spicy: I like my sandwich with a little kick. This time around, sliced jalapeños did the trick.
5. Chips: Adam needed Eve. Romeo needed Juliet. Prince William needed Kate. Well, a sandwich is nothing without chips. And putting them directly on the sandwich is brilliant and more efficient, saving me the extra step of eating them separately. BBQ was an excellent choice.

It’s nice to see a restaurant, like No. 7 Sub, experimenting, taking risks and trying new things out. While people have been putting chips on a sandwich since the early Renaissance, very few places have dared serve such a concoction. And I applaud No. 7 Sub for taking this bold step in the right direction. I hope other restaurants will soon follow suit. Cool Ranch BLT. Salt & Vinegar Turkey Club. The possibilities are endless…

No. 7 Sub | 1188 Broadway between 28th & 29th Street

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