Savory and Sweet is a Decent Comic-Con Lunch Option
Can anyone remember the last time they were ever on 10th Ave for reasons not related to the Javits Center? Other than people working on Hudson Yards, in the pyramidal Associated Press building, and the folks that actually live in Midtown (I know, right? Wow, people actually live here and don’t just disappear to/from Penn Station!) there’s not much if you aren’t a taxi driver looking for tires or repair work. For those that do venture to 10th, where you can see the glory of Jersey in all its riverside splendor, you’ve got a new lunch option as you safari onwards to your eventual destination. Savory and Sweet (located at 404 10th Ave – probably why it’s so hard to find, end nerd joke) appears unassumingly on the corner of 10th and 33rd… just blocks away from the madness of Comic-Con starting today.
Abandon all hope ye of utility slice purists – these are some nifty-looking options.
The smoked duck pizza ($8.95) came out nice and hot. Having paid while it was cooking, I couldn’t let slip the chance to try this nice and fresh. The cheese was still melty, the mushrooms perfectly cooked, and the duck was curling upwards a little.
I didn’t want to take chances of spillage, so the slice I had on the hood of some dude’s BMW (yes, I am sticking it to the man, what of it?) was a non-duck slice. Oh man. Seriously, wow. They mean flatbread when they say it. Still, though, it had substance. The Taleggio cheese had the meltiness of a provolone or mozzarella with the sharpness of a decent gorgonzola, finishing nice and mellow. It was just stringy and gooey enough to give a proper, but brief, utility slice experience. The shrooms are robustly yielding but have enough bounce to remind you that they’re not dessicated hunks of fungus yet. What a nice bite they had.
The crust itself is crunchy throughout, with just – JUST – enough give in the middle to give some chewiness. I will say it as plainly as I know how: the last time I had pizza this good which wasn’t at some specialty fine-dining joint was when I was in Rome for a week as a teenager. This is amazingly great pizza. Yes, you are paying $9 for the smoked duck pizza, which would get you a full pie AND a can of soda at any $1 slice purveyor, but this is where you ask yourself if you want quantity or quality. PROTIP: come here for quality.
“But MJP, you Gordon Freeman exemplar of the masculine Adonis that arises but once a decade within the profession of the system administrator,” you may say, “this place is just another damn generic deli with decent offerings, fresh baked goods, and nifty-looking cupcakes. Why the hell would I want to get utter pap for lunch?” Fear not, I am not out to sell you on duck pizzas alone. To be frank, with the flavor proposition through the roof on the pizza, it’s worth making sure that we’ve got a real diamond in the rough.
As such, the chicken schnitzel sandwich ($7.45) is our round 2 offering from Savory & Sweet. I used to only get Schnitzel Express when they had Groupons and was blown away by how delicious their schnitzel was, but it sure was hell wasn’t $14 worth of delicious. If Savory & Sweet is offering a comparative option at half the price, it’s gotta be verified.
Coming in at just shy in length of a bottle of Coke Zero, I gotta say that I was disappointed as I should have expected. In terms of quantity, this is a big-ass bruiser of a sammich that should fill anyone to the brim. The baguette is freshly made onsite, the chicken isn’t a thin cutlet but a big breast with real thickness to it, and caramelized onions go great with the pickles and harissa aioli.
Two bites in I was happy, but as I went on, I was less happy. The Swiss cheese loses any kind of standing against the other ingredients and really needs to be replaced by something sharper. Jack or maybe a gouda. Plus the chicken retains some moisture at the thicker parts, but the breading is otherwise plain, only crunchy at the very concentrated corners, underflavored, and separating from the skin of the chicken. There wasn’t enough aioli and the baguette was too hard for the fillings, resulting in explosions of the otherwise wonderful caramelized onions. For $7.45 I’m not too sad (and not too hungry anymore) but I don’t plan on bashing down the doors to get the chicken schnitzel again.
With the other sandwiches nothing to write home about, it’s safe to say that Savory and Sweet is a spot for a fancy pizza and good baked goods. There’s real quality going on with the basics, and while it’s not the despised (or at least barely-tolerated) generic deli that’s now omnipresent, it’s close in some ways. Go at least once for the pizza if you’re not too far off and feel like you’re going to clothesline the next tourist that stops off the Gray Line double-deckers, or if you work in this out-of-bounds turf. I wouldn’t schlep from food truck paradise to come here, though. It’s just not bad, but not terrible. Don’t miss the cupcakes, too – oh man, they are decent.
The + (What the future hipsters of the 10th Ave food scene would say):
- A hidden gem with some original offerings!
- Cupcakes with flatbread pizza is never a bad thing.
- Reasonably priced, even for the high-end gourmetish pizzas!
The – (What the people waiting 6-8 years for a Hudson Yards realtor would say):
- They may have an interesting sandwich and flatbread pizzas but everything else is boring.
- The interesting sandwich falls short! Come on guys, put some effort into the schnitzel!
- Not worth it unless you’re in the area and can’t stand the thought of Subway again.
Savory and Sweet, 404 10th Ave (At 33rd St.)