Dear Infatuation NYC,
Valentine’s Day is my birthday. Literally all I’ve been dreaming of for months is a Faicco’s Italian sandwich, but I am pregnant and cured meats pose a health risk to me and the baby. WHAT DO I EAT if I am desperate for prosciutto but can’t have it? Don’t say a chicken cutlet sandwich. Not the same. Neither is a caprese sandwich - not salty/briney enough. I am desperate for tips for the absolute best, most prosciutto-y yet proscuitto-free sandwich in all of NYC. Help?
First, thank you for this absolutely juicy question. As someone who has yet to be pregnant, I won’t lie and say I relate to your cured-meat desperation. But your writing has the fervor of a 19th-century seafaring epistolary novel. Reading it makes me feel like I too have been deprived of prosciutto, and must help in any way I can.
As for the sandwich. You’re right. Chicken cutlets have no place in this conversation. I think you’ll find the most success by taking the vegetarian route (at least for the next >9 months). Court Street Grocers makes reliably punchy, vinegar-heavy vegetarian sandwiches. Try their Vegetalian. Like an Italian combo, it comes with swiss, mozzarella, pecorino, white onions, hoagie spread, and greens. But instead of meat, they use perfectly seasoned roasted butternut squash.
If you’re avoiding cheese because of pasteurization logistics - another idea is to get Golden Diner’s Vegetalian. This sandwich has charred yuba that’s been marinated in house Italian dressing. It’s chewy, acidic, and briney. There’s no cheese on this sandwich, but there is spicy red pepper sauce and it comes on a sesame seed sub roll.
And if that’s still not doing it for you - Mekelburg’s in Williamsburg and Clinton Hill has an excellent porchetta sandwich with broccoli rabe and parmesan cheese. The meat is fully cooked, and it’ll probably be the most spot-on solution to your fatty, salty, crispy meat desires.