January 22, 2008
An unassuming black facade with no visible signage greeted me on the corner of Norfolk & Rivington. NYC Food Guy did it again, he traveled from the UWS to the LES only to find the darkness of a black security gate preventing another culinary adventure. Suddenly, my nostrils twitched, alive, that familiar scent floating in the air; frying bacon, it was near. And with only Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Schiller’s Liquor Bar, and a hardware store in the vicinity, it was a good bet that intoxicating scent, warming up the crisp winter air, was coming from inside Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop.
Owned by a vegetarian and known for their Big Mack Daddy, a beast of a veggie burger, (any sandwich can be tofu-ized) Tiny’s doesn’t forget about the carnivores and puts a delicious spin on some traditional sandwiches like the Spicy Rizzak: Sliced turkey, crisp bacon, melted cheddar, tomato, onion, and some seriously delicious Chipotle mayo with a real bite:
More delicious sandwich pics and a word on the Veggie Burger after the jump.
I’d read about Tiny’s a while back on nymag.com and was immediately intrigued. The thought of turkey, melted cheddar, bacon, and spicy chipotle mayo sounded pretty close to sandwich perfection. I finally made the pilgrimage from the UWS to the LES and wasn’t surprised that my sandwich yearnings were satisfied.
The Spicy Rizzak ($8.00 on a semolina hero, $5.00 on a roll) was damn tasty, save the over-toasted and bready semolina hero. Next time I will probably get this on a brioche roll, one of the many bread options at Tiny’s (Large: Semolina hero, 7-grain hero, 7-grain sliced, sliced white & Small: Semolina Roll, Brioche Roll, Sliced 7-grain). As you can see below the sandwich came served steaming hot with a small handful of generic wavy potato chips:
The real star of the show turned out to be the Southwestern Chicken, a breaded chicken cutlet with bacon, melted cheddar, onion, and BBQ sauce.
The BBQ sauce was too sweet and tangy. It would have benefited from some heat. Strangely red, it reminded me of the sauce that comes with Chinese sweet and sour chicken, just not as sweet and thick. The cutlet, however, was fresh, thick, and delicious, swathed in thoroughly melted cheddar and fresh, crisp bacon.
The semolina hero was again over-toasted, but all in all, I’d be all about the chicken cutlet next time I hit Tiny’s.
Now as far as Veggie Burgers go, NYC Food Guy is not a participant, but after chatting with Tiny’s owner Kevin and seeing how serious he is about sandwiches, I would definitely get the Big Mack Daddy next time I go. A veggie burger topped with mild cheddar, tofu bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle, ketchup, and special sauce all served on a brioche bun, vegetarian or not, that sounds delicious.
You can also create your own sandwich choosing a bread, a main, some basic or premium add-ons, and a spread.
Tiny’s premium mains ($4.25 small/$6.50 large) include Grilled and Breaded Chicken Cutlets, Roast Beef, Smoked Ham, Crab Cakes, Portobello Mushrooms, Tofu Chicken. Lesser mains ($3.75/$5.50) include Tuna, Bacon, Veggie Burgers (large only), Tofu Bacon, Tofu Turkey, Veggie Meatballs, Avocado, Hummus, and Cheese.
You can get up to 3 basic add-ons for free ($0.25 each after): Lettuce, tomato, onions, spinach, pickles, shredded carrots, and sprouts.
Here’s a link to a PDF version of their menu, look on the right side to see the rest of your options.
Places like Tiny’s are hard to come by, especially when you live in neighborhoods where you can only get sandwiches at chains and bodegas. Tiny’s is great because quality ingredients combined with innovative recipes makes eating sandwiches an adventure again. So next time you’ve got time to spare, head down to the corner of Norfolk and Rivington and satisfy the urge that your corner store never does.
For more delicious sandwiches click here.
Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop
129 Rivington St., New York, NY 10002
at Norfolk St
Mon. – Fri. Noon to 10PM