Kicking It Old School With A Meatball Parm From Jiannetto’s
After an unsuccessful sandwich experience last week I decided it was time to hunt down a more substantial sandwich for lunch that wouldn’t leave me hungry two hours later. Two things normally come to mind when I need a filling sandwich: A parm from some deli/pizza shop or a banh mi. Luckily we have several options for both of these sandwich types in the Financial District, but I’d remembered seeing that Jiannetto’s was parked at its spot on Front St. & Wall that day and decided that if they’d been regularly parking there for so long, maybe their parm sandwiches had some fans. Could a truck that primarily serves grandma slices turn out a good sandwich, or was it just a secondary item to diversify the menu?
It’s been more than three years since Downtown Lunch hit up Jiannetto’s, and little has changed on the menu since then except a couple of price hikes. Pizza is their main seller, and it was hard not to buy a slice since a pie was being pulled from the oven as I placed my order. They also serve a couple of pastas (baked ziti, penne vodka) and Sicilian rice balls ($5) that are made by the people behind the now defunct Papa Perrone’s truck. After a glance at the menu, I decided I was need of a meatball parm ($7.50). I felt better in my ordering decision when a trio of construction workers came up and ordered parm sandwiches after I did and then proceeded to have a philosophical conversation about the ladies in their lives. I’m pretty sure you don’t get this sort of experience when waiting in the line at Just Salad.
It was a few minute wait for the sandwich, which was assembled and then put in the pizza oven for the cheese to melt and bread to crisp – steps I appreciated that are almost always rushed during prime lunchtime at any pizza place.
My meatball sandwich featured a thick layer of mozzarella on top of four large meatballs and a nice chunky tomato sauce encased in a crusty baguette-like bread. It was a no-frills sandwich but still managed to be pretty good. I could have used a bit more tomato sauce as a couple of the meatballs were a tad dry, but otherwise it was a really good and filling sandwich. I ate the whole thing and definitely wasn’t hungry until dinner.
Have any of you tried the pasta or rice balls from Jiannetto’s? Should we just stick to the pizza?
Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck, parked at Front & Wall streets most days; check the ML Downtown Twitter Tracker before heading out to lunch.