A Sandwich At Acquedolci Changed My Opinion Of Eggplant
The thought of eating at most of the places in Little Italy is unappealing partly due to the crowds and partly because they try to lure you in with super cheap food that lives up to the phrase “You get what you pay for.” And I would rather not eat a giant plate of sub-par pasta in the company of tourists.
Acquedolci is on Grand St. (nr. Mulberry) not quite in the thick of Little Italy, but close. Lunch’er Danielle had recommended the shop, saying she and her office mates order delivery from there all of the time. I decided to head up there since I’m sure a lot of people working on the edges of Soho and Nolita eat in this neighborhood frequently. And I would be crazy to turn down an Italian sandwich recommendation.
I walked into the small space and saw a sizeable line of people waiting to pay for their food and I always consider that a good sign. You order your sandwich at the counter in the back and they either slice your meat to order if you’re going the cold cut route or assemble it from things in the case up front. They also have some pastas, appetizers like rice balls and salads but my hunch was the sandwich would be enough to fill me up.
I went for the Siciliano sandwich ($8) that contains fried eggplant, ricotta salata and roasted peppers. I really wanted some of that semolina bread that Danielle had mentioned, but they were out by the time I got there so I went with regular Italian. When the sandwich was brought to me it was of almost comical proportions in true Italian-American style. One half of it was so stuffed with fried eggplant that I had to pull some of it out and eat it just to get it down to a manageable size.
While doing that I discovered this was some expertly fried eggplant. It wasn’t greasy and tasteless and was sliced super thin and coated in breadcrumbs. I’m not always the biggest fan of things with eggplant as their main ingredient, but this I would eat again. The ricotta and peppers were just kind of there, but the sandwich as a whole was delicious and left me in a food coma for the rest of the afternoon. If you’re a light eater (or not a glutton) you could easily get two meals out of this.
I’m not sure I would actually travel up to Grand St. to eat here if I worked in the FiDi but if you work nearby or are able to order delivery, it’s worth checking out.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Giant Italian sandwiches – what’s not to like?
- It’s one of the less touristy places in Little Italy.
THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I’m not traveling that far for a sandwich.
Acquedolci, 181 Grand St. (nr. Mulberry), (212) 219-8911