Downtown Lunch: Sazon Takes The Plantain Sandwich to Another Level

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 (insuring 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.) You all know how much I love sandwiches stuffed with fried plantains. But check out this sandwich where the fried plantains are THE BREAD!


When I heard you could get a sandwich made using fried plantains as bread at Sazon, a downtown newcomer serving Puerto Rican food on Reade street, I had to check it out. I was hoping for the outdoor seating I had seen available my first time passing it but this week was told that’s only for dinner time hours now. *kicks ground*

The inside is a bit cheesy/clubby and not really what I’m looking for when having lunch, plus I realized that with sandwiches starting at $9, I’d break the $10 Midtown Lunch barrier (once you added tax+tip), but I just had to try this sandwich. In other words, my stomach won the battle over my wallet. I decided to sit at the bar with my dining companion and we ordered the Cubano ($9) and the Jibarito (the sandwich with the fried plaintains as bread). You can get it with grilled chicken inside for $10, but I decided to splurge ($11) for the bistec (steak) with onions, cheese, and avocado (although for some reason that last ingredient wasn’t written on the menu).

Check it out, after the jump.


The Jibarito is quite a sight to behold- a heavy sandwich busting with that steak and avocado. It was rich and delicious, totally indulgent and fattening. I ended up forgoing the attempt of eating it with my hands like a regular sandwich and relented to using my 3 pronged poker and sword… errr I mean fork and knife.


The Cubano, on the other hand, was listed as having a garlic mojo- but I felt the entire thing was a bit dry. Although after my friend finished eating, I ate more of it (he had left about half)…. so in reality it was still pretty good I guess.


All sandwich options come with your choice of rice-n-beans, yucca fries, or potato salad (making the $9-11 pricetag a little more bearable.) We tried the yucca fries with the Jibarito and the rice/beans with the Cubano, and both were really nice. The yucca fries seemed a bit unevenly cooked at the top of the heap but the ones that were cooked properly were delicious greasy little nuggets of golden goodness. The sandwiches also come with a little thimble filled with corn, onion, cilantro and some oil. I asked what it was called, and they replied: “the little corn thing on the side”. Thanks.

The service there leaves something to be desired, or to put it another way it sucked. I actually complained to the manager at the end of the meal that a waiter who was standing around doing nothing, when motioned to for the bill, just stood there and did nothing. I got the bill finally ten minutes later from our original server who was new there and was too busy.. while other servers sat around folding napkins and joking around with each other. The manager did the right thing, apologizing profusely and offered to comp the entire meal! Unreal right? But whats crazier is I said no thank you. I’m such an idiot.

I might be back to try the $10 chicken Jibarito someday, if they open up lunch seating outdoors.

Sazon, 105 Reade Street (btw. West Broadway+Church), 212-406-1900

Photos and post by Daniel Krieger



  • Daniel,
    If you enjoyed this even a smidgen, I highly encourage you to go to their original store on 1st ave in the 50s called Sofrito. Its a dinner time only place and can get loud but if you get there when you open you will experience fantastic service, potent sangria and a belly of good food.
    Speaking of good food, when sazon first open they were more than eager to please – i took my coworkers there once per week and started to notice the service and the portions slipping. Beleive it or not the portion they served you is significantly smaller than what they served a month ago. I also tried the same sammies you and your guest had and I thought they were great but eating the jibaro requires a shovel and hacksaw.

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    Folks- the Jibarito is a heck of a sandwich. I know it was started in Puerto Rico, but introduced in the states in a restaurant in Chicago, around the corner from a family member of mine’s house. THAT’S a good sandwich. Don’t be afraid of it.

  • Thanks for the suggestion Monique… well I will say that the manager I spoke with (who may have been an owner, I’m not sure) was obviously eager to make up for my complaint, I could see he felt terrible about it.

    I can’t imagine the portions being bigger than what we it was really a mountain of food.

  •’s Dave Cook had an article in the times this week about patacón, a venezuelan plantain sandwich that sounds just like the jibarito —-

  • @okaygo – yeah it does. my god that looks good. think we could make it up to 202nd Street and back on the subway in an hour?

  • That doesn’t look like a mountain of food in those pics. Unless they are using giant toothpicks! The jibarito looks pretty small. (I’m not counting the potatoes–yucca fries?–which are just filler.)

  • oh and the corn dish? thats Corn Salsa. the cole slaw of spanish food. :-) its not bad though.

  • @ Zach, if you call ahead and order it- you might go there and back in just enough time. if you walk fast. lol.

  • zach, I’m sure you could. dyckman is maybe 20 minutes away on the 1 train. I live in Riverdale, so I have to take the 1 from 242n’d to 50th st, which is a 36 minute trip.

  • It was a mountain of food trust me..I can eat a lot and I didn’t finish everything.

    Damn that NYT version looks better than what I had! I want that thing now.

  • daniel, this was in May:
    I took pics with my shitty camera phone but the portion looks like its been halved.

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