Comodo, Tamy Rofe and chef Felipe Donnelly’s new Latin-American cafe at the Freehand lodge in Gramercy, is the exceptional chic whole-provider location to provide a single of the world’s excellent sandwiches: the pambazo. The Mexican antojito typically includes a filling of crumbly chorizo, gentle potatoes, shredded iceberg, and queso fresco, all slathered on a fresh baked bolillo dipped in guajillo salsa. Comodo’s kitchen area provides a handful of extravagant flourishes, like entire skin-on tubers and appealing gem lettuce, but what genuinely allows the dish stand aside is not a culinary tweak — it’s not a really excellent sandwich — but a economical one particular.
The cafe fees $25 for this de facto appetizer all through weekend brunch, which comes to $32 soon after tax and suggestion.
The steep price tag serves as a reminder that New York is creeping into an period of $20 sandwiches — a selling price bracket that was prolonged the area of lobster rolls or cured meats on rye at Midtown vacationer traps. Alas, rising food stuff and labor fees, along with pandemic-connected offer chain difficulties, are now pushing up the price of specified sandwiches to concentrations that make them more acceptable as occasional indulgences than typical lunchtime staples.
So considerably, the BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll) would seem risk-free as a sub-$10 affair during the town, although a right meatball or rooster parm hero will now run around $20 after tax and tip at at minimum two distinguished chains. Defonte’s in Red Hook doesn’t inquire much more than $12 for most substantial hoagies, but a hefty cubano at Guantanamera will set you back again $19, 3 bucks far more than in 2016. And a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s, $17 eight decades in the past, is now $25. Thing is, with a large deli sandwich, patrons are receiving sufficient meaty nourishment to practically provide two — or make it possible for for a gentle second meal later on on.
A pambazo, by distinction, normally functions much more as a snack than a good food, and this sort of is the scenario below at Comodo. The sandwich started off decently more than enough on a the latest Saturday. Pink salsa slicked each fifty percent of the squishy bolillo, and the gem lettuce additional a moderate crispness. But then there were being the fillings: entire and semi-crushed Pewee potatoes — between other types — interspersed with a light-weight scattering of overcooked ground pork.
The awesome thing about mixing delicate papas and chorizo, a typical pairing, is how the tubers enable sop up the excessive oil, chile, and paprika of the sausage the meat and root greens practically come to be a single. The Comodo workforce, staffed by the group behind the nicely-regarded Colonia Verde in Fort Greene, appears to be likely for a little something different, since there have been couple detectable spices — or luscious fat — other than a strike of clove. It was chorizo in title only. The web final result was akin to taking in a scant pile of arid (nevertheless pleasantly porky) meat with a facet of potatoes. A person would hope extra skills or nourishment from a small dish that prices as a great deal as a single of the city’s top rated restaurant hamburgers with fries.
For a much more astute Manhattan-dependent version of the Mexican sandwich, swing by El Pambazo Store’s pop-up at the Bryant Park Winter Village, open up till late March. There, cooks layer the pillowy bolillo with a a lot more generous software of potatoes and chorizo. The sizzling, juicy meat practically screams with warming notes of chile and cinnamon — in advance of a wave of iceberg and stretchy queso cools off the palate with a wallop of dairy and an uppercut of crunch. Charge: $14.
Of course, there’s almost nothing wrong about veering from far more traditional pambazos to create a new path ahead, and it just about goes without the need of declaring that New Yorkers have been underpaying for the assorted foodways of Mexico for much too extended. But in a city where by a person will not come across as quite a few pambazos as great tacos or tortas, it hurts to believe that anyone may possibly drop by the Freehand and have this high priced miss out on be their initially come upon with what’s usually these types of a superb sandwich.
For these who go to Comodo during brunch, the carnitas tacos ($17) are a greater solution. They’re delicious in a pretty easy way piles of tender, coffee-rubbed pork on paper-thin corn tortillas. That reported, I’m ranking Comodo’s $25 weekend pambazo a Provide.
Buy, Offer, Maintain is a column from Eater New York’s chief critic Ryan Sutton where he seems at a dish or product and decides irrespective of whether you must you purchase it, sell it (just don’t test it at all), or maintain (give it some time prior to trying).