The Chicken Parm Search Continues at El Mondello
There will probably never be consensus on the best chicken parm sub in Midtown, but the search will continue on. I had a enjoyable one at Tuscany Catering (on 55th btw. 5+6th), but was surprisingly disappointed by Little Italy Pizza (on 46th btw. 5+6th) and Park Italian across the street. The best I’ve had so far is probably at Labeleca on 40th btw. 7+8th (and their sister location La Bellezza on 49th btw. Lex+3rd.) In order to keep up with lunchtime demand, none of these places fries their chicken cutlets to order- and while they’re all fine, none will end the search.
So on Friday after I walked by the still plywooded Washoku Cafe (the new Cafe Zaiya’ish Japanese place that is opening soon on 37th btw. Mad+5th), I decided against my better judgement to check out Mondello’s, a standard take out pizza and subs place right next door. I say “against my better judgement” because I pride myself on my strange sense for good Midtown Lunch’ish food. There is a vibe a place gives off that lets you know it’s going to be good, and this place didn’t have it. But there were alot of people in there, and sometimes you just feel like a chicken parm.
Most places will buy cheap Italian sub rolls, and attempt to cover their crappiness by adding tons of sauce and popping the whole sandwich in the oven before serving it. Mondello is no exception. The chicken parm is pre-made, but benefits from being the thinly sliced kind- so it wasn’t dried out. The massive amount of shredded cheese they added was good, but the sauce was slightly sweet and nothing to write home about. For the price ($7.25) they don’t add nearly enough meat, and should probably use a good fresh mozzarella. This was more like a $5-6 deli chicken parm. Satisfying, but nothing to get excited about.
The pizza on the other hand looked good enough to be intriguing. At $2.75 you’re not getting any kind of bargain- but the slices are a decent size, and if you love that super thin slice of incredibly oily pizza than this is your spot. Nice and salty, I wouldn’t go out of my way for it- but if you work in the area, I’m sure you could do a lot worse.
I don’t normally like writing about generic Midtown places (there are so many, and if I did they would litter the site) but in this case I figured I’d throw up a quick review just in case there are those of you who had walked by and wondered about this place.
- Decent place, always crowded for lunch
- If you like the super thin crusted, very oily pizza that New York is known for- Mondello’s has got it
- Thinly pounded meat on the chix parm sub, so it doesn’t get dried out
A little expensive for what you’re getting Everything about the sandwich was pretty middle of the road. Bread, cheese, sauce… just your typical Italian pizza deli in Midtown
Mondello’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, 3 East 37th (btw. Mad+5th), 212-684-2411