City Sandwich Brings Mayo-Free Portuguese Sammies to Hell’s Kitchen

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Guerrieri

Yesterday’s trend was Asian sandwiches; could tomorrow’s be Portuguese? Anyone who’s been to Lisbon knows that it’s a sandwich-lover’s mecca (okay, maybe not “mecca”— there’s a lot of pork involved), so we squealed like suckling pigs when we caught wind of City Sandwich, opening a couple of doors down from Xie Xie. Owner Michael Guerrieri (born in Naples and raised in Long Island) test-ran the shop in his adopted hometown of Lisbon, where he also owns Mezzaluna. But don’t expect your traditional Portuguese sandwich bar, with pre-made sandwiches marinating in the window — this one will have a sleeker “Mediterranean” look (playing on the colors of the Portuguese and Italian flags), and rather than sticking to the classics, Guerrieri’s twenty or so concoctions (generally priced between $6 and $10) will consist of ingredients that he says are 40 percent Portuguese, 25 percent Italian, and 35 percent “New York twist.”

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Guerrieri

Some of those ingredients will be imported while others, like the morcela (blood sausage) are being made for him by a New Jersey purveyor (the bread, a “nice upper-scale baguette” is also custom baked in New Jersey). Guerrieri is eschewing the usual mayonnaise for yogurt sauces made with herbs and spices popular back home. Sandwiches include a cod fish with caramelized onions, tomato, and black olive pesto; morcela with sautéed broccoli rabe, tomato, and melted mozzarella; alheira (a pork-chicken sausage) with steamed collard greens; and a tomato and mozzarella with seasonal greens and yogurt pesto sauce. The BLT will incorporate smoked pancetta and honey-mustard yogurt sauce, and there’ll be a soup and pasta of the day as well as salads. Eventually, you can also expect a sandwich of the day— so suckling pig aficionados should start hoping that Guerrieri finally finds a leitão provider who meets his standards. City Sandwich opens in the next couple of weeks, ConEd-willing.

City Sandwich, 649 Ninth Avenue, nr. 45th St.