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.