The Italian Sausage at Mondello Makes Me Wish I Had Ordered a Chicken Parm

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I decided to begin my search for a proper Italian sausage hero close to home at Mondello (on 37th btw. Mad+5th). Their chicken parmigiana hero has been a favorite of mine since I started working in the area nearly seven years ago.

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The first sign that this wasn’t going to be the sub I was looking for came as soon as I saw the sausage and peppers on display in the steam tray. Piled up and soaking in who knows what sort of liquid, it clearly wasn’t going to provide that crispy char on the edges that comes from a good griddling. Still, I’d never know for sure if I didn’t try it.

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I was surprised when the guy behind the counter put meat sauce and cheese on top, but decided to go with it. I wasn’t expecting a great sandwich, so cheese and sauce certainly weren’t going to hurt.

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That was for the best, because they were pretty much the best part of the sandwich. Unlike the chicken parm, which is just one or two chicken filets, the sausage is cut up into many smaller pieces that all seem to want to go a different direction. Holding it all together was a bit of an ordeal.

Besides that, even with all the toppings and the time in the oven, the sausages still tasted like they were boiled or at least simmered. It didn’t have any of the crispness that makes a sausage worth biting into.

The sandwich wasn’t bad, it’s just not what I’m looking for and certainly not as good as the chicken parm. So, it’s onward and up(town)ward as I keep looking for a good Italian sausage hero.

Mondello Pizzeria & Restaurant, 3 East 37th (btw. Mad+5th), 212-684-2411


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