Your First Look at Ma Peche’s New Sandwiches

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Despite being quite fond of pretty much all of David Chang’s Momofuku ventures, I find that I rarely take the trouble to head to the East Village or fight a damned web site to go to any of them. When Ma Peche (aka MomoMidtown) first opened, I was psyched to have them in Midtown, but being 20 blocks away, I never quite managed to check it out. And then I heard about the new sandwich additions to the lunch menu.  Hello excuse for a  subway-ride lunch!

In fact, it was a good excuse for two back-to-back subway-ride lunches. This week I stopped in two days in a row to try out their new Shrimp Po’ Boy and the Beef Sausage sandwich (and discovered a new happy hour special at the bar!) Check ‘em out after the jump.

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Unlike the $10 Midtown Lunch menu- which is only available via online ordering- these new sandwiches are available both at the Ma Peche bar (behind the Milk Bar when you first walk in) and in the proper restaurant downstairs.  They’ve also made the infamous banh mi available, which came in second place in the Banh-Mi-Palooza back in the spring. In other words, Ma Peche proper is now officially a Midtown Lunch! (Kind of.)

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First up was the beef sausage sandwich. It’s immense. The sausage is bulky and, with the thick, crusty bun, it took a little effort to keep it all together and get a good bite out of it. It was worth it though. The beef was sweet, the casing had just the right snap to it and the cucumber-jalapeño, mustard relish provided the perfect spicy balance. The crispy fried shallots on top didn’t hurt either.

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Where the beef sausage was bulky, the shrimp sandwich was almost petite. The bun seemed about the same, but it all just seemed a lot smaller from the amount of filling, to the time it took to gulp it down. It had a good mixture of flavors and textures with layers of tang from the pickled red onions and mustard and the crunch and crisp and chew of the bread, the shrimp and the onions.

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The fried shrimp bits were sparsely spread within the sandwich, but mixed in with the lettuce and sauce, I couldn’t really get a count of how many pieces were in there. I’d guess somewhere near a dozen, which isn’t overflowing, but hardly stingy.

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The shrimp sandwich could certainly have been a bit more filling, especially for $10 (and there’s no free soda, like the original lunch special) but it was very good, and I have to say the best benefit as far as I’m concerned was that it left me with enough room for some cereal milk ice cream ($4.15), which has been a long time favorite of mine.

Now that I’ve finally made my way up the whole three stops on the F Train, I totally plan on making my way back for more, including the Banh Mi.  Plus there’s a new bar special as well… $10 for a Pulled Pork sandwich and a Bud.  Not bad at all, and it’s available to go (although I wonder if you can  substitute a Turbo Dog instead!)

Ma Peche, 15 West 56th Street (btw. 5+6th), 212-757-5878

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