72 down. 29 to go.
It was a Saturday and unusually beautiful outside. My wife Jamie left the apartment early to go visit our friend’s, Degan and Aaron’s, newborn baby in the hospital near Union Square. I was stuck inside doing work, but could feel that it was going to be a special day.
It only took a short phone call (and the prospect of a sandwich) to pull me away from my computer and into Manhattan. Armed with my list of potential sandwich options, I met Jamie and R. Stein, still glowing and teary eyed from seeing the baby, outside of the hospital. I couldn’t help but feel a little emotional as well.
While waiting for Rachel’s boyfriend, Matt, we walked downtown in the general direction of Cheeky Sandwiches. Before long, stomachs started growling, feet were aching, people were getting cold and the Matt was taking forever. The chance of a sandwich was rapidly decreasing, but I urged them on and eventually we all made it to Cheeky’s. Actually, first we walked right by it, but eventually found it. This little Chinatown hole in the wall is easy to miss.
We ordered at the counter, secured the only real table in the unique, but cozy, restaurant, and anxiously awaited for our Po’ Boys to arrive. Unfortunately, I’ve never had a true N’awlin Po’ Boy, but if they taste anything like this guy, then I get what all the hype’s about. The modestly-sized oysters tasted salty like the ocean, and were perfectly fried. In New Orleans they apparently call it “dressed” — but in NYC, we call it shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, pickles, and not enough hot sauce. Possibly the highlight of the sandwich (besides the Zapp’s BBQ chips) was the light, crunchy bread specially flown in from the dirty south. The large roll potentially overpowered the deliciously under appreciated innards of the sandwich.
The day did turn out to be special, and not just because I got a sandwich out of it. Actually, I had a hard time fully concentrating on my meal. I was distracted, my mind was elsewhere. I think it had to do with that fact that I just picked up my wife from a hospital where her friend just had a baby. And that in less than six months, I’ll be back, at that exact same hospital — only this time it’ll be us in there.
That’s right folks, I’m eating for two!
Cheeky Sandwiches | 35 Orchard Street & Hester