Check Out All 5 of Cer Te’s Crazy August Sandwiches

At the beginning of the month, Cer Te (on  55th btw. 5+6th) announced that they would be offering a whopping 5 specially designed sandwiches every Monday and Tuesday throughout the month of August. Lunchers would then be asked to vote on their favorite, and the winner would be offered every day in September as Cer Te’s official entry into the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge.  It took me two weeks to get it done, but I finally tried every one of the five entries.

Check them out after the jump…


Colonel’s Heart Attack: Southern Fried Chicken Breast, Mac n Cheese Melt with Collard Greens served on a Biscuit. On description alone I would expect this one to my favorite, and it seems like most MLers gravitated to this one from Day 1.  Sadly it wasn’t really any better than the sum of its parts.  Don’t get me wrong, it was good enough to demolish every single bite (how could I not?) But not so much better than you would expect.  The biscuit was really tasty, and surprisingly stayed together far better than I expected (although I’d still recommend snagging a fork and knife.) But the other three ingredients were a little under-seasoned.  Sure, who doesn’t love a fried chicken breast, and why wouldn’t it taste good on top of collards and mac & cheese pearls. But the whole thing would have been greatly improved with a little salt.  (Of course that’s easily fixed, and maybe it has been since I ate the sandwich on Day 2.)


Portobello Lettuce Tomato (PLT): Smoked Portobello, Arugula, Roasted Tomatoes with a scallion and caper aioli on a sliced semolina club. This vegetarian take on the club sandwich is the least exciting of the five, but it’s the only cold option (and probably the healthiest.)  Even so, if this sandwich sounds good to you (aka you love portobello mushrooms), you’ll love it.  Not as good as Cer Te’s previous vegetarian entry into the Sandwich challenge, but still a tasty sandwich.


Croque Monsieur: Jambon, gruyere on brioche with a thyme béchamel. In early voting, the croque has lagged behind- but after trying it, I have to think it’s because nobody has ordered it!  If you like ham and cheese sandwiches, this could be the best one I’ve ever tried.  The thick bechamel toppping puts the whole thing over the top.  Could I eat this every single day?  Probably not without doing significant damage to my body.  I guess I’ll have to settle for every other day.


Florentine BBQ: Melted short ribs with Bel Paese and an arrabiata tomato chutney served on a tuscan round. This one could have used a little more meat (then again what sandwich couldn’t…)  But it was still tasty. It’s basically just a fancy version of a BBQ beef sandwich, with a nice sweet tomato based BBQ sauce.  Very tasty, and the cheese added a nice creaminess.  (These guys just don’t know how to make a bad sandwich.)


Gulfano (Southwestern Cuban): Braised shoulder pork, Tasso ham, Tomatillos, Jalapeno Mustard and Monterey cheese on a pressed Panini baguette. Another fan favorite, how could this thing be bad?  The braised pork shoulder is perfectly executed, and while the bread might be a bit too hefty for some- I’ve got no complaints.

Cer Te never ceases to amaze me.  Is $8.95 too expensive for a sandwich?  In most cases, yes.  And some of their offerings are not as filling as they could be.  But their willingness to adapt to the comments of the Midtown Lunch readers, their never ending supply of (amazingly gross!) ideas makes them my favorite sandwich spot in Midtown.  You have another three weeks to sample these 5 creations, and then vote for your favorite on Cer Te’s blog. The winner will be sold throughout the month of September.  Right now I’m torn between the Cubano and the Croque.  Might have to go back and try them again…


  • got hosed on the F. BBQ… the one I had last week had about 4x the meat of yours

    They must think I run a food blog (god forbid)

  • those sandwiches are nuts.

    does the chef just think how unhealthy can i make something when he comes up with those combos?

  • CER TE – The Col. Heart Attack is pretty good, but would be improved greatly if you added a little au jus container to the order, with white gravy in it (thereby keeping the spirit of the sandwich and solving both the biscuit dryness and lack of salt issues). Sure, it would be even more impossible to eat with your hands but we at ML love a challenge

    You could also then re-name it The Colonel’s Guaranteed Fatal Heart Attack

  • That Colonel’s Heart Attack sandwich sounds (and looks) like a winner to me. Enough so that I am going to attempt to duplicate it at home.

    How could anything with collard greens (properly cooked) NOT be good?

  • Damn, now if they could only COMBINE the Heart attack with the Croque mon. Woo!

  • yeah, “The Colonel’s Heart-a-croque”.

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    Gulfano’s the best sandwich I’ve tasted in years. Unfortunately, they gave mine to the guy behind me in line and made me wait an extra 10 minutes….

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    I just had the Colonel’s Heart Attach for lunch today. Liked the chicken — a huge piece and nicely seasoned, still crispy on the outside. Liked the pasta and cheese though it could have used a little more sauce. The collard greens were OK, slightly bitter but I guess that’s how collard greens are. I added a packet of hot sauce, which improved the flavor, but I felt the biscuit was too big and too doughy, not soft enough. The sandwich would be better on the round rolls that ‘Wichcraft uses for its chickpea-and-grilled-eggplant combo.

  • Just had a PLT and my PLT had nowhere near the amount of portobellos on it as that depicted in the photo, above.
    Nor did it have anywhere near as much tomato on it.
    First time ever I’ve been disappointed by Cer Te, so I’ll just assume the sandwich maker was having a rough day.

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    The Col. Heart Attack was not tasty at all. The chicken was not even close to being deep friend and crispy or tasty. The mac did not look or taste at all like mac. The bread was terrible and the collard greens for me was a weird taste combo.

    Not seasoned at all my mellow fellow midtowners

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    Hey guys, I had an amazing customer service experience this week at Cer té that I wanted to share with all of you:

    When I heard about the 5-sandwich special for August, I decided I had to make the trek to try the Colonel’s Heart Attack (I work at 34th and 5th). But when I got there late yesterday afternoon, they had run out of biscuits!! I was tired and hungry (it was already 4, and I hadn’t had lunch yet), and disappointed that they didn’t have the sandwich that I had gone out of my way to get. However the manager, Carlos, more than made up for it. He convinced me to try the Gulfano instead (not like I was about to venture somewhere else for my lunch by then), gave me his card, and promised that if I called him the next day, he would set aside a Colonel’s Heart Attack for me, on the house. As if this wasn’t kind enough, when the counter guy was bagging up my Gulfano, Carlos told him to toss in a brownie! When I showed up today, Carlos greeted me warmly, and he had my sandwich all ready to go.

    Thanks to Carlos for brightening my Monday and Tuesday with a free brownie and a free sandwich!

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