It takes cunning to extract the sandwich from the elaborate packaging.
Fork in the Road loves carbs – and hates Dr. Atkins and the South Beach Diet – so when we get a chance to multiply starches in a meal, we take it. Sure, you get both french fries and rice pilaf along with your entrée in many Middle Eastern cafes, and what could be starchier than a spicy and flaky Jamaican beef patty placed, as it should be, inside the mitt-shaped coco bread that was made to hold it?
Japanese fast-food establishment Cafe Zaiya, on East 41st Street
But even we were taken aback upon discovering the so-called potato sandwich inside the refrigerator case at Japanese fast-food restaurant Café Zaiya the other day, a stone’s throw from the lions of the New York’s Public Library’s main branch (who, by the way, are named Fortitude and Patience).
This near-miraculous sandwich is made on white bread with the crusts effetely cut off, English-style, and stuffed with a thin but flavorful layer of the kind of mayo potato salad that the Japanese borrowed from the Americans. Oh, and there’s a single leaf of Romaine for crunch and color contrast.
The thing ($3.50) is memorably good, and we guarantee there’s not much protein in there to distract you from the starchy goodness.
18 East 41st Street
Here’s what the inside looks like.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 16, 2012