Underestimate Certe’s Vegetarian Sandwich at Your Own Risk

Certe’s First Two Sandwich Challenge Entries

So, I’ll admit, it’s taken me awhile to go and check out “The Primavera”, Certe’s new entry to the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge. Part of it is because it’s their *third* entry (they have done one every month since we started), but part of it had to do with the fact that it was a vegetarian entry. Don’t get me wrong, it sounded good and all (crispy eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash with basil ricotta, fresh mozzarella on a homemade garlic herb focaccia), but not blow-me-away good. Not so-good-I-felt-the-need-to-rush-over-there and stuff my fat face good (which presumably would get fatter and fatter just by looking at the sandwich.)

Yesterday, I finally found time to trek over to Certe (on 55th btw. 5+6th) and try the sandwich. And boy am I glad I did.


Let this be an important lesson to anti-vegetarian Midtown Lunchers… just because something is vegetarian, or is made up mostly of vegetables, doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious (and fattening). Of course it helps when those vegetables have been sliced super thin, breaded, and fried. It helps even more when you top them with slices of fresh mozzarella, and a basil ricotta that melts into an alfredo-like white sauce. After abandoning the “dipping sauce” from sandwich #1 to sandwich #2, Certe brings it back for #3 in the form of a red marinara sauce.

At $9, the thing is definitely a little more expensive than I would like it to be, and part of me feels like it’s overkill to allow Certe to enter a new sandwich every single month, and get this kind of publicity. But if they keep making amazing sandwiches, it’s tough to ignore it. I was perfectly prepared to let this one quietly slide into obscurity… but I’ll be damned if I let you miss out on this amazing sandwich. Certe- I don’t know who your sandwich chef is, but he deserves a raise.

Certe’s Bayou Sandwich is All About No Expectations
Certe’s Thanksgiving Dip is the Greatest Sandwich Ever Created


  • I love how Certe is not only gaming the ML Sandwich Challenge system, but also now making Zach gush about a vegetarian offering.

    Next month: Certe turns Zach into a gay vegan

  • Certe has become one of my must-visit locations every week. I have loved the sandwiches. This one is particularly good. Their pizza is good. Their burrito special is terrific. Lots of fresh ingredients and you can stuff it all you’d like.

    Certe makes good food and that’s hugely important. They are also very friendly.

  • While mainly meatatarian, I have nothing personal against vegetables. I like them in moderation. I just know meat makes things better! The sandwich looks good, but with nicely thin sliced veal strips accompanying those vegetables, how can you argue that the sandwich wouldn’t be better??? VEAL! IT’s what’s for dinner! YUM!

  • Ah, but is it better than an Eggplant Parm at Tuscany Catering at the other end of the block? It’s certainly more expensive.

  • @wayne: lol

  • I’ll have to try this.. fuck.

  • Squashes and eggplant sliced lengthwise and fried? I love it!

  • Certe did well and truly met the challenge. Zach is giving them lots of publicity and customers. *Ahem* *cough* maybe they post some of ML reviews and links on their website and windows? Eh? Give back a little love?

  • Just gave the sandwich a shot. Its delicious. My only compliant is the cup they give the marinara sauce is too small for dipping. I resorted to the poor sauce on tactic. I guess I am too use to Certe’s other dipping sandwiches (Thanksgiving Dip, Meatloaf Dip, etc etc). Certe is one of the best places to go, and is a standard for my weekly rotation.

  • This sounds good – keep the vegetarian and vegan options coming!

  • Have heard so much about Certe and how good the food is, so I decided to try it today. Big mistake! First off, I ordered the chicken saltimboca panini and rather than make it fresh, they just pulled a pre-made version out of some storage bin on top of the counter. I should have known that would be an issue, because when i got back to my office and took a bite into it, the sandwich was rock hard from the stale/flaky bread. In the end I basically had to deconstruct the sandwich, toss the bread, and was left highly unsatisfied from the experience. Never again will i patronize Certe.

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