Any Blimpie’s bland facade might be hiding unexpected goodies. There was the one on 31st Street, which evolved from a Blimpie with a Thai steam table to a full-fledged Thai restaurant, and the one on 6th Avenue at 37th Street that served Latin food like roast pork and plantains. Both of those are actually now closed, but it seems like Blimpie franchise owners are free to improvise.
So when I heard about a Blimpie in the jewelry district that makes an off-menu spicy sandwich catering to the South Asian businesspeople in the neighborhood, I got right up there.
Walk in and stop at the first counter, which is strictly vegetarian (the one in the back makes the meat sandwiches). Ask for the “Special Vegetarian.” The counter guy will toast your roll and mound crushed nacho-flavored Doritos on the bottom half, followed by two slices of American cheese. He throws that in the microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese. Then he piles on the standard veggies: shredded carrot, iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, green bell peppers and pickled jalapeños. (If you want them. I think you do.) The whole thing gets salt and pepper and is then doused in a vinegary, fiery green chile chutney.
It tastes good. Really good. I know the Dorito-American cheese-chile chutney might not sound like a bright idea, but trust me, it is. The place gets a steady stream of Indian customers asking for the sandwich.
So next time you walk by a Blimpie, stick you head inside to make sure you’re not missing anything. And email me if you find something delicious.
29 West 46th Street (between 5th and 6th)