“Alidoro” is notorious for many things. The first thing this tiny Italian sandwich joint is known for is their long line, typically one that is out the door whenever I pass by at lunch time. I lucked out on the day I decided to walk in, as I had just missed the big lunch rush. I also lucked out as this place runs out of food quick, and that does not bode well for a rumbling tummy.
With around 40 sandwiches that you could have, the menu is daunting at first glance. The list of things you can not have is equally scary, which commands you not to order things such as mayo, ketchup, tomato sauce, lettuce, pickles, utensils, and other no-no’s that would make The Soup Nazi smile. Aside from their reputation of awesome sandwiches, I heard they can be ferocious to customers who dared to ask for things on that banned list, even kicking people out for their insolence!
Having browsed the menu of what I could have outside (convenient for the folks stuck waiting on line when it is out the door), I wasted no time in ordering a “Matthew” sandwich. How could I resist a sandwich named after me? The answer is – I could not, nor will I ever.
Having my name on it, this sandwich had some big shoes to fill. Did it deliver? Short answer – Yes. Long answer – OMFGYESYESYES<3LOLOLOL. The "Matthew" is a heap of fresh arugula, mozzarella, and a thick stack of prosciutto, topped off with a balsamic dressing and sealed inside focaccia bread (you can order the sandwich in a variety of different breads, this was easily one of the best sandwiches I have had. Period. The ingredients all play their parts and meld into one unified and amazing experience. The smooth and milky mozzarella balances the tangy balsamic, which that focaccia dutifully absorbs as you chow down, and the peppery arugula goes great next to that hearty pile of cured meat. I was very concerned at first with the portion of prosciutto that I would get with this sandwich, knowing how expensive it is. If only you could have seen my face, dear reader, when I unwrapped the aluminum foil of my "Matthew" and gazed at that precious cured ham. The photos do it no justice, as it practically sank into my soft focaccia. Even though I was enamored with the ingredients, I can not neglect how good the bread was. Soft interior, firm but pliable exterior, this was the perfect bread for this kind of sandwich, with a subtle flavor that let the insides of the "Matthew" stand out. Even if there is a giant line that will cause my blood pressure to sky rocket, "Alidoro" is 100% absolutely worth the wait. Patience is a virtue, but if the reward is a sandwich that leaves me completely satisfied, I can tough it out for a few minutes on line. I just hope the person in front of me doesn't ask for mayo. “Alidoro” is open for lunch only, and is located at 105 Sullivan St. in downtown NYC.