Downtown Lunch: Discovering the Joys of Alidoro at Puffy's Tavern
Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so to even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (ensuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food.) This week he accidentally stumbles into a pub serving my favorite Italian sandwiches in the city.
While wandering around Tribeca earlier this week, I found myself licking the windows of Chanterelle. Luckily they were closed or I would have gone in for lunch… who am I kidding I can’t afford to lunch there. The seafood sausage appetizer alone (which is delicious by the way) costs as much as two normal lunches. So I turned around and stumbled across the street into a bar where I saw large hunks of crusty looking bread and sandwich fixins calling my name. I checked out a menu which boasted “The best sandwiches in New York”. Yeah I know, you and everyone else.
I was hesitant viewing the menu, which had sandwiches in the $8-9 range. I figured they probably didn’t come with anything, and if they did it would be some tiny salad that was more for looks than actual sustenance. I asked, just to be sure.
“They come with a free beer”
WHHHAAAA? I was like really? any beer I want? She said, “Yes but you have to drink it here.. you can’t take it out obviously. This ain’t Amsterdam”
Umm ok I’m not sure what that meant but I was happy to stay and enjoy something from their decent tap selection (bottles are also available.) I ended up choosing a Kelso, which is a local Brooklyn brew, and sat down while my “Sofia” was made, a salami, fresh mozzarella, artichokes, and olive paste sandwich, on a nice thick slab of ciabatta.
The sandwich was delicious, filling, and well assembled on fresh Sullivan Street bakery bread. All of this for $8 with tax included! I knew I had scored a big win for downtown lunching when I noticed “Puffy’s Tavern presents Alidoro Italian Sandwiches” written on the menu. Alidoro did sound kind of familiar, so I did a quick little search on my phone and discovered that these sandwiches actually come from a pretty well known Italian sandwich shop in Soho, and that Zach had actually written about the original shop for Serious Eats. We even ordered the same sandwich! (I guess great stomachs think alike.)
On a second visit, I decided to sample the $8 Daniela, made with Italian tuna, fresh mozzarella, hot peppers, and dressing. I had this one on the Sullivan Street Pizza Bianca, which is a roman style flat-bread with some salt and rosemary baked in. Another excellent creation by Puffy’s Tavern with a nice kick from the hot peppers- although I’d go with the baguette or ciabatta over that pizza bread.
The place is totally unassuming as a lunch spot, and the food menu is quite limited (kettle chips is pretty much all there is in addition to the sandwiches.) But when you can go get a sandwich for 7-9 bucks with a beer that isn’t a bud light, that’s a cool deal in my book.
Puffy’s, 81 Hudson St (corner of Harrison), 212-227-3912
Menu is served Mon-Sat 11:30-5PM
Photos and post by Daniel Krieger