Treehaus Restarts the ML Sandwich Challenge w/ a Crispy Buffalo Chicken Wrap
We’ve already mentioned midtown newcomer Treehaus (3rd Ave. and 51st St.) for its next-level buffet options, but they’ve now stepped up to the plate with an offering for the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge (remember that old thing!?) The Crispy Buffalo Chicken, which is priced at $8.50 ($9.25 with tax), is actually a wrap- which generally speaking can’t compare with proper sandwiches — after all, flour tortillas are often just soft, one-note, well, wrapping for ingredients that could otherwise benefit from a nice, crusty roll or slices of bread. Treehaus finds, however, finds a way to elevate the humble wrap by toasting a wheat tortilla in a panini press, giving it nice grill marks and a bit of texture.
Inside that pressed wrap are slices of fried chicken breast, sriracha buffalo sauce, crumbled bleu cheese, ranch dressing, romaine lettuce, and tomato. The chicken is near-perfect, resembling the pan-fried chicken cutlets breaded in Italian bread crumbs that my mom always made (+1 for home-cooked sentiments). The sriracha buffalo sauce, which, as far as I could tell, mixed together with the ranch dressing, was a bit too thin, causing it to pool at the ends of the wrap. I know that buffalo wing purists might be aghast at the inclusion of ranch dressing in this wrap, but take my word for it, the resulting sriracha-ranch mixture makes for a hot, spicy, tangy, slightly-sweet sauce that just plain works. I even found myself eating some of the scraps of lettuce just to get more of it.
But that lettuce, sadly, did not add too much to the sandwich. Ditto the tomato. They might have added some crunch and freshness, but after a ride in the paninni press, they were doomed. The tomato did taste nice though, despite the time of the year.
And how could I forget the bleu cheese? Full disclosure: I’m not even a big bleu cheese fans. I take my buffalo wings with just the sauce, thank you very much. But every couple of bites into this wrap, I welcomed that creamy texture and slightly-funky flavor. The sriracha-ranch sauce sets this wrap apart from its boned ancestor, but the bleu cheese has a way of reminding you that this is an homage to the buffalo wing.
Just one final note on Treehaus: Most of the sandwiches on their menu actually fall just under the Midtown Lunch $10 limit, and most of them sound great (porchetta with smoked mozzarella and kale, anyone?). And we just got word that they may have introduced a 2nd ML Sandwich Special… the Mexi-Cali Dream. It’s nice that somebody has revived this old challenge. Maybe some other places will follow suit…
Treehaus, 830 3rd Ave (btw 50+51st), (212) 355-9855