Monday, September 1, 2008


On one of the last days before the kids returned to school, we took advantage of our long (hour) lunch (which is usually spent hastily gobbling something while trying to make copies or watch detained kids) to venture a bit further than normal. "Italian sandwiches?" I said to Wooh. He nodded and rounded up a few more people, and we headed to Alleva on Grand Street.

Alleva is just past Di Palo's (a fine cheese shop run by a cranky old guy who glared at me for asking if they made sandwiches once--and Wooh told me the same thing had happened to him) and just before the Italian Food Center (which is very similar, but with a bigger selection and more of a crowd). At Alleva's, the menu has just four or five sandwiches (although of course you can ask for different combinations) and there's rarely more than two or three people ahead of you. Everything is $7.50.

I got the Italian combo (soppresatta, salami, prosciutto, roasted red peppers, balsamic vinegar, and with fresh mozz instead of the provolone it comes with), as usual. I can usually only eat one half, but today I got them both down, sitting outside near the track with the other teachers. The sandwich is great in its simplicity. There's no lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, extra this, extra that, mustard, whatever. it's just a thick pile of heavily spiced meat, some cheese, and the roasted red peppers providing a bit of vegetable. Wooh likes to get all prosciutto and fresh mozz, but a wad of prosciutto an inch and a half thick kind of turns my stomach (it reminds me of visiting a girlfriend who lived in Parma, and eating prosciutto three times a day for the entire week I was there).

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