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By Steven Li on 2006-03-10

March 10, 2006


I met Shann on friday morning and we both walked down from Union Square to her dorm in the financial district. We planned out the whole day with no plans. Make sense? Well our plan was to eat and walk the whole day only we didn’t know where. Sometimes that’s when the best eating is done. Walk, talk, walk and stop when something looks good. Only in the city is this type of approach towards eating possible. We whipped up a quick batch of mango mochi to munch on because no true local can go very long without eating mochi!

On our way towards the lower east side, we made a quick detour and peered into Financier, taking in the pastel macaroons and dainty tartlets.

The place was beyond crowded with the wall street lunch crowd feasting (although nibbling is a more appropriate word consider that they really emphasize quality over quantity here).

Lunch stop at Tiny’s Giant Sandwiches Shop on Rivington. It took us a while to get seated and I had an awful feeling that the service was going to be very slow.

Fortunately I was proved wrong as the last turnover of “prime lunch time diners” left and the place calmed down. As expected, the menus centers on sandwiches with daily offerings of soups and salads.

Shann and I ordered two sandwiches and split them. The first was the Silly Philly Portobello – grilled portobello mushrooms with sauteed onions and melted swiss cheese on a semolina roll ($3.95) It was a mighty big sandwich for that price! I was expecting a whole portobello mushroom, but instead they were cut up into large chunks. A crusty roll with a baby soft interior hugged the warm and buttery onions buried beneath a pile of melted cheese.

Instead of ordering the second sandwich off the menu, we went for the “create your own” ($3.75). After much indecision (there were far too many choice for indecisive people like me!) we went with the hot crabcake on a butter toasted brioche with pickles, tomatoes and onions with a basil pesto spread. As odd as it may sound, it was the best choice I made in a long time. Crabcakes and brioche were made for each other! The brioche bun was butter and grilled like the buns Pearl’s Oyster bar. The crab cake was bland on its own but paired with a tart bit of pickle, some tomatoes for sweet moisture and a savory pesto each bite left me smiling with satisfaction. I must have looked ridiculous. The chips on the side are ordinary salted potato chips, I ate half plain and jammed the other half into my sandwich. Nothing like an extra crispy crunch!

Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop
129 Rivington Street
NY, NY 10002
(212) 982-1690

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