The first sandwich after my long hiatus, the Bacon and Marmalade on Pumpernickel at Prune....doesn't exist anymore. At least, it doesn't on the menu, and when I asked if they could make it, I was told with an annoyed sigh that "it's only available in the book," which I assume means a Prune cookbook I've never heard of. Indeed, going to Prune was about what I was expecting: packed with pretentious yuppies sipping on three different glasses of wine for lunch, overworked waitresses who had a haughty attitude, and a cramped space not at all designed for comfortable dining. Thank goodness the food was actually very good; not good enough to make me have any desire to go back (and there's a cookbook apparently; why would I when I can make all the food myself?), but still, at least it can sort of back up the attitude.
A rule I'm implementing starting now is that if the sandwich isn't available anymore (and I know that #2 on the list isn't, for example), I plan on going to the restaurant and ordering a different sandwich. Not perfect, but I really wanted to do this challenge to discover new restaurants as much as anything, so this works. At Prune, they had the sandwich you see above on the menu, an Avocado Sandwich on french bread with ricotta cheese, tomato and lemon; there were also onions as you can see from the picture.
And....it was excellent. The avocado was some of the best I've had in New York, and the combo of the ricotta cheese and the onion, tomato, lemon, and olive oil was terrific. One thing to note is that the sandwich did actually fold into a normal sandwich and wasn't just a long piece of bread you nibbled on like it looks in the picture. One of the better sandwiches I've had. If only it hadn't taken 45 minutes to get, despite the waitress knowing I was in a hurry. 4.2 for the sandwich, 2 for the restaurant. Seriously, buy the book.
The next sandwich was at Despana, which is a cool gourmet Spanish wine seller/market and deli. I really enjoyed the market itself, and wish I had more time to check it out. When my girlfriend asked what sandwich the deli counter guy would recommend, he said this one, the Picante sandwich, which contains chorizo, peppers, tomatoes, and Spanish cheese. I did my best to get a flattering picture, but it was tough; not the most attractive sandwich. And it wasn't very good either. I think the concept here was that the chorizo, which was very spicy but not that tasty, would mask the other parts of the sandwich, which just weren't good at all. The cheese and tomatoes were bland, and the peppers were practically non-existent. Overall, one of the biggest disappointments I've had on this adventure, considering how good the whole place looked and some reviews I've read online. 2.9.