*This article originally appeared in the July 8, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.
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Breads Bakery’s Frittata Sandwich$14.95; 18 E. 16th St., nr. Union Sq. W.; 212-633-2253
Tel Aviv–born baker Uri Scheft plops an herby Italian omelette on a foot-long baguette and calls it a frittata sandwich. We like to think of it as an Israeli hero. Ask for it with the works and you get lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mild Gouda, cream cheese, smoked salmon, and a flurry of chives—the whole shebang held together with a bamboo toothpick.
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ABV’s Breakfast Torta$10; 1504 Lexington Ave., at 97th St.; 212-722-8959
Corey Cova’s latest concoction: expertly fried egg, husky strips of bacon, a slab of melted Cheddar, avocado, miso mayo, jalapeño relish, black-bean purée, and the coup de grâce—a housemade hash-brown patty the size of an iPhone that’s even better than Mickey D’s. The people who put French fries on sandwiches and consider it a trashy triumph have nothing on Cova.
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Dave’s Hoagies’ Italian$11; 26 Cedar St., nr. William St.; 212-248-1000
This guy Dave hails from South Jersey, the land of the hoagie. Still, he had the good sense to source his bread locally, from century-old Parisi Bakery, when he infiltrated New York, a.k.a. the home of the hero. Now Dave’s got something unique on his hands—a fat, drippy, South Jersey hoagie served on a bona fide New York hero roll.
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Chubby Mary’s Chicken Cutlet With Broccoli Rabe and Provolone$8.50; 328 E. 14th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-228-2807
“We make it like we eat it” is the motto at this Artichoke-pizzeria offshoot, which is to say they make it big, on Leske’s jumbo hero rolls, as if they were attempting to break a Guinness world record. How do they eat it? Let’s put it this way: They do not raise their pinkies.
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MD Kitchen’s Shrimp Parmigiana$9; 1012 E. 15th St., nr. Ave. J, Midwood; 917-789-9556
From the First Family of pizza, the DeMarcos, whose patriarch stretches the dough down the block at Di Fara’s, comes this relative rarity of the hero world. It’s lovingly unreconstructed, exquisitely sloppy, and the reason that old Italian rule about keeping the cheese away from the fish was meant to be broken.
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Court Street Grocers’ Italian Combo$10; 485 Court St., nr. Nelson St., Carroll Gardens; 718-722-7229
No one makes better sandwiches than this quirky gourmet grocer. And no one bakes a roll as perfectly textured for cohesivehero-assembling as Caputo’s up the street. Recently, the two joined forces, so to speak. The glorious result is rich and meaty and as carefully layered as a Farrah Fawcett hairdo.