Life. It moves so fast. After just over two years in business, Joe and Jill Dobias have decided to axe the retail portion of their First Avenue sandwich shop JoeDough (135 First Avenue, 212-780-9222) to focus on catering under the moniker JoeDough Catering & Events. The storefront slung its last tongue-stuffed L.E.S. French Dip on Sunday, but fans of Dobias’ in-your-face combinations can rest easy: Several sandwiches will make the transition to the Joe & MissesDoe brunch menu.
Which ones made the cut?
“People would kill us if we didn’t offer our [Almighty] brisket sandwich,” says Jill, so the meaty behemoth — a mutated, nacho and chili-spiked version of which Dobias recently made for Mario Batali on daytime culinary clusterfuck The Chew — is a go. The original recipe pairs soy-and-sugar marinated brisket with peppercorn mayonnaise and cheddar on brioche. Another JoeDoe favorite, the Conflicted Jew (chicken liver pâté with onions and bacon on challah) has been at one Dobias location or another for the past six years. Those two join the Stoner’s Delight — American, cheddar, and queso blanco grilled cheese served with a side of tomatillo dipping sauce — as part of the Joe & MissesDoe brunch menu.
Although the closure appeared sudden, the lure of catering has long been a subject of interest for the couple, whose creative three- and six-foot-long party subs are imbued with even more whimsy thanks to their heft. “Two yards of brisket” has a ring to it — a ring that will be heard at every barbecue counter I encounter from now on. Catering will continue to operate out of the defunct sandwich shop until an eventual move to a commissary in Queens, presumably to meet the demand of all the conflicted Jews ordering Conflicted Jews for their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.