Artisanal Sandwich on the Fly

April 10, 2009 Updated: April 10, 2009

The sandwich is a cultural icon for many who grew up in the Western world. And versatility is the key. A sandwich can be made in many different ways using ingredients from all over the world. The imagination can run wild just thinking about the different breads and fillings that are unique to different regions.

Sandwiches were an easy meal for shepherds, peasants, farmers, and nomads in ancient times, and a convenient one for the traveler. Today, sandwiches can be considered “street food” for those craving a snack, people on the run, or someone who needs a light and satisfying meal.

The pita from the Middle East is stuffed with a variety of ingredients, including cheese or falafel and fresh vegetables. In France, the famous sandwich de merguez is made with mouthwatering North African sausage, grilled over coals, and then gently placed inside a golden, crunchy toasted baguette. This tantalizing delight is then smothered with both mustard and ketchup.

And one cannot forget the famous Vietnamese sandwich, bánh mì—a crusty baguette, with a thick layer of mayonnaise or liver pate, loaded with fresh cilantro, mint, daikon, slices of jalapeño, cucumber, or other ingredients according to territory and season.

And the sandwich is also moving away from just being a picnic food, toward becoming an indoor food. And today some sandwiches are made with fresh and natural ingredients.

In selected stores and eateries you can find deliciously light sandwiches guaranteed clean of chemicals, antibiotics, and growth hormones. And you can enjoy these delicious healthy snacks in a variety of communal dining settings in New York for less than $8.

Num Pang serves Cambodian sandwiches   (Jonathan Weeks/The Epoch Times)
Num Pang serves Cambodian sandwiches (Jonathan Weeks/The Epoch Times)
In the popular Union Square area of New York City you can find these kinds of delicious fresh sandwiches, from Cambodia and Europe.

Num Pang

21 East 12th Street (between University & 5th Avenue) New York, NY 10003 (212) 255-3271 or (212) 255-3272.

Brought by the owners of Kampuchea, chef and owner Ratha Chau and his two partners Burnett and Daitz for New Yorkers to enjoy, made-to-order authentic, artisanal Cambodian sandwich in its open kitchen.

These sandwiches are labor intensive, but very tasty. The fresh rolls from Parisi Bakery are toasted, cut open, and spread with fabulous home-made chili mayonnaise and layered with cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro, and filled with either pork, fish, shrimp, veal, or beef.

Vegetarians can enjoy the delicious grilled corn covered with coconut flakes and chili mayo with a vegetarian Num Pang.

Dogmatic Gourmet Sausage

Refreshing ginger-flavored strawberry soda with Dogmatic crunchy sandwich (Jonathan Weeks/The Epoch Times)
Refreshing ginger-flavored strawberry soda with Dogmatic crunchy sandwich (Jonathan Weeks/The Epoch Times)
26 East 17th Street, New York, NY, (212) 414-0600.

Known for its “vertical sausage,” this eatery opened its doors in October 2008. The inspiration behind their sandwiches is from both Europe and North Africa. You can find the famous de merguez sandwich here. Dogmatic Gourmet Sandwich features five types of grilled-to-order handcrafted sausages. The sausages are made with grass-fed meats and free-range chicken that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics.

Vegetarians can enjoy the organic asparagus from local farmers. And these delicious sandwiches come at a perfect price—for less than $5.

You can choose freshly made gourmet sauces, including the truffle Gruyere, the sun-dried tomato, feta, and the cheddar jalapeno. The most-popular Chimichurri sauce is always offered with the sandwich.

The baguette is cut in half and placed on spikes for toasting, making a long hole in it. Sauce is then placed inside, and the sausage of your choice is gently snuggled inside the bread. Dogmatic Gourmet Sandwich offers signature homemade soda as well. The ginger soda is a good choice, as is the sorbet and ice cream.

The interior is very bright and creative with a communal butcher-block table that seats 20, and an open kitchen.

Crunch, crunch, and enjoy!