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89th And Broke

I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

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Too Much Attitude at Alidoro

When I got an instant message that said, “I just had the best Italian sandwich in NYC” from my friend Dave, I immediately copied the Yelp review and sent it to my entire office.  Within 10 minutes of receiving the initial message, I was already en route to Alidoro.

As we turned down Sullivan Street, I was more excited than a kid on Christmas morning.  Here I was, ready to experience one of the best sandwiches in NYC.  We were peering down the street, taking bets on what the place would look like, when I saw the line coming out of a storefront.  Clearly, this was Alidoro.

With about 10 people in front of us, I figured this line would move fairly quickly.  I checked in on foursquare and texted my friend Dave that I was eating at his suggested spot, to pass the time.  Immediately he texted back with “get off your phone, they will yell at you.”

Yea, okay, I understand an establishment getting mad at you when placing an order and being on the phone at the same time, but this was a 20 minute wait.  As the wait continued, I looked around the store and noticed this Italian eatery was filled with sass.  I couldn’t help but read all the signs…frankly because I had nothing better to do.  Favorites include a listing of everything they don’t have (tomatoes, avocado, meatballs, etc.), because God forbid you have to ask them if they have something.  The other favorite is something Caryn is known for – asking store owners what they recommend.  At Alidoro, a sign clearly states not to ask for their recommendations.  Not too hungry?  A sign advises you not to ask for a half-sandwich either, because they won’t do it.  And these aren’t signs, but more like if you copied and pasted this blog post into a Word Doc and printed it out.  As someone who studied for 4 months in Florence, I understand the snarkiness of Italians – after all, one day at Benetton, I accidentally grabbed an extra small shirt and a saleswoman said there is no way I’d fit into that.  But please, this was just overkill.

It was finally my turn at the counter (and I swear, not exaggerating, this had been about a 25 minute wait).  I ordered my sandwich, the Lucia, which was prosciutto, smoked mozz and sweet peppers.  It was already killing me that this was costing $9.50, but then I found out they were out of bread.  Instead of just handing me the foccacia bread or some other fancy bread they had that was priced at $1.50 more, they charged me, simply because they misjudged the amount of white and wheat bread they give out (and this was before 2 p.m.).

So now I’m waiting for the man to make my sandwich, and as annoyed as I was at this point, I did like the fact that he was interacting with me and saying things like “in Italy we do this….in Italy we do that” (but this also explained the long wait).  Granted though, his inspiration from sharing these cultural bits was from the movie he was watching in the corner.  Yes, at some points during the making of my sandwich he actually stopped, watched the movie and giggled.  Doesn’t anyone in Soho need to go back to work!?!

I get back to the office and am ready to dive into this sandwich.  Yes, I may have been out of pocket for almost 40 minutes, but I was about to eat the most delicious sandwich God ever created.  I bit into it. Eh. Biggest.  Letdown.  Ever.

What it needed was something cool to go against the meat, like tomatoes.  But no, Alidoro clearly told me that they don’t have tomatoes in the snarky sign on the wall.  I finished half a sandwich because that was all someone could physically eat.  I came back to the other half later in the day but the prosciutto was slimy (I didn’t refrigerate it, but this was 3 hours later) and had to toss it since slimy meat grossed me out.  I think $11 is a lot for a sandwich, and while it was huge enough to make two meals, who wants to eat the same sandwich twice in one day (except if it’s the best sandwich on Earth)?  If it’s just okay, I’d rather spend $6 and buy half of a mediocre sandwich – at least I wouldn’t feel like I was tossing my money down the toilet.

Alidoro – if you are reading this, I like Italian sandwiches, I truly do.  Salami and mozzarella practically run through my veins.  But let me buy a half of a sandwich and lose the attitude and maybe, just maybe, I’d return.

The Basics
Name: Alidoro
Location: 105 Sullivan Street between Prince and Spring St
Who to bring:  Too little seating.  Go alone.
Price: $$.  $10+ for a sandwich.
Overall: Over-rated (clap clap clap clap clap).  2 stars.

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