If You Don’t Get An Amazing Soft Shelled Crab Sandwich I Want to Hear About It
So, the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge keeps rolling along- but as of now it just seems like the Cer Te show. You guys said you wanted it to keep going, so Cer Te (on 55th btw. 5+6th) keeps pumping out the sandwiches. (Maybe yesterdays coverage will encourage other Midtown businesses to get on board! What are you waiting for people? A challenge has been issued!)
The June offering from Cer Te is a soft shelled crab sandwich, and I stopped by yesterday to try it for myself.
Man I love soft shelled crab. So good… and not that expensive when all is said in done. I mean, if a Midtown deli can afford to put it on their by the pound buffet, certainly we can get more under $10 soft shelled crab sandwiches! I didn’t make it to Cer Te until 2pm yesterday, so the place was empty and I was told it was taking awhile because they were frying the soft shelled crab fresh. I’m saying this because there is a huge difference between fresh fried soft shelled crab and something that gets fried in advance and site out. I’ll eat ‘em both happily, but one is clearly going to be better than the other.
I’m also mentioning this because I have always tried my hardest to stay under the radar when eating out in Midtown. I never introduce myself, never say who I am, and more importantly, I never accept free food (unless it is a free food promotion that all Midtown Lunchers can partipate in.) I always go in, like a regular customer, order my meal and pay for it like a regular customer. Obviously some places know who am (mostly carts, because you can’t communicate with them over the phone like a brick and mortar store), but I still never accept free food. Not a single cookie from the Treats Truck. Not a single kati roll from the Biryani Cart. (I always pay.) Even though Cer Te has been part of the sandwich challenge for months now, I have never met anybody there in person, never have said who I am, or talked to anybody in the context of Midtown Lunch. Everything has been done over email.
Of course after yesterday, I can’t say for sure whether or not they knew who I was. (I had the baby too, who was already a Midtown celebrity long before yesterday.) They didn’t say anything, and I ordered and paid for my meal like a regular customer. But the cook was told by the manager to make the soft shelled crab sandwich fresh (it took about 4-5 minutes, even though the place was empty.) And it was freakin’ awesome. I loved the potato roll, the beer battered soft shelled crab, and the tartar like remoulade sauce (which you may remember from the catfish sandwich a few months ago.) It came with a tasty potato salad, and cole slaw and for somebody who loves soft shelled crab, I thought it was well worth the $9.
But I don’t want any special treatment… so here’s what we’re going to do. If they thought they were serving a delicious looking, fresh made soft shelled crab sandwich with a good amount of coleslaw and potato salad to a regular customer, than you should get the same thing right! Granted, I was there at 2pm- and the place wasn’t that crowded… so clearly they had more time then if it had been during the lunch rush (when Cer Te can be completely insane.) If you don’t get the same great sandwich, I think Cer Te should suffer the shame of being outed on the site. If they didn’t know who I was- it shouldn’t be an issue. Obviously they can fry every sandwich fresh during the rush, but if they’re not that crowded, and you ask for it- they should be able to make you a fresh sandwich in 5 minutes.
I know it’s kind of unfair to make an example of Cer Te (especially because I don’t know if they knew who I was or not), but I don’t want to write that this sandwich was amazing- only to have you guys go get some cold soft shelled crab grossness. More than that, I want this to be a lesson to all Midtown Lunch spots. Now that my photo is out there, if you give me special treatment, or give me a larger portion, or put more care than normal in preparing what you serve to me- the readers of this site will be able to tell. And when that happens, they will do what they can to shame you into making the same good food for every single customer! And they’ll do it with my full support.
If my photo is out there, I can’t stop places from making me things that tastes extra good (or is a bigger portion.) But together, we can make sure all Midtown Lunchers get the “special” treatment! Not just the ones who write stupid blogs…
Now, go get a Cer Te soft shelled crab sandwich! It was freakin’ awesome.
Certe’s Thanksgiving Dip is the Greatest Sandwich Ever Created (With address and phone info)
The Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge