When you think about a sub you think ham, turkey, roast beef, lettuce, tomato, etcetera. Well, you best be thinking a wee bit differently when you enter into a No. 7 Sub shop.
Now you probably never heard of this joint before unless you live in one of the four areas they service, two in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn. I had not heard about the place either. It was a friend who lives in Midtown South that told me about No. 7 Sub. He goes to one located at the ACE Hotel on Broadway between 28th and 29th. So, I did a little research and check out the offerings.
After reading the menu items and their story, there was definitely something unique about No. 7 Sub. The menu was not typical of sub shop fare. Like their CAULIFLOWER CHEESESTEAK made with cauliflower florets, roasted green peppers, provolone, Vidalia onion and fried shallots. Based on the ingredients of that sub alone, I needed to try No. 7 Sub and that sandwich.
I went to the Ace Hotel location and spoke with the manager. “Mike” was more than accommodating and told me about each of the subs and then made me a sampling of each one of them. Needless to say, the Cauliflower Cheesesteak was first on the list. It was unbelievably tasty. From the consistency of the bread to the tenderness of the cauliflower (not mushy or hard, just right) and the sweetness of the Vidalia onion and the crunch of the fried shallots, this sub was a winner in my book.
Then came out the ZUCCHINI PARM made with fried zucchini, Fontina cheese, sweet onion, pickled jalapenos, BBQ potato chips. This was another meatless sub and one bite and you will never even miss the meat. The cheese once again mellows out the sweetness of the onion and briny heat of the pickled jalapenos. Then there is the crunch from those chips. That BBQ flavor that comes through despite all the other ingredients.
The BROCCOLI CLASSIC with lychee muchim, ricotta salata, fried shallots and mayo hailed the third meatless offering. Again, this sub is bursting with flavor that you will not miss the meat at all. Even you broccoli haters will love this one.
In the immortal words or Clara Pella, I asked, “Where’s the meat?” And out it came in the form of THE GOODFELLA sub. This was no sub to laugh about. It was as serious as they come. This as truly a “made sub” with Genoa salami, pepperoni, mortadella (the type with the pistachios), mozzarella, Thai basil and jardinière (made up of jalapenos, hearts of palm, green olives, red onions.) This is a great tribute to an Italian palate. For me it was all about the savory meats and mellowness of the cheese. The Thai basil kicks it up in flavor, while the jalapenos add the heat and the red onions add a sweet crunch. You’ll be looking for a cannoli and a cup of espresso after you eat one.
Bring me the No. 7, please! Yes, there is a NO. 7 CLUB turkey, ham, jalapeno mayo, tomatoes, BBQ potato chips and Pico de Lettuce (which is house made.) The meats were fresh and combination of that jalapeno and mayo and crunch of the chips made it just a good as the other subs, but it was the house made Pico de Lettuce that puts this baby over the top.
This place is the brainchild of pals Tyler Kord (chef) and Matthew Maddy (designer) that started No. 7 Sub in 2010 with the help of Ian Sugarman, who is another partner. Their Chef de Cuisine is Ryan Reynolds (not the actor) and Katherine Pangaro who is the General Manager and all around great person runs the entire operation.
I had enough room left to taste their version of gazpacho. I was not disappointed. Like everything else, it was loaded with flavors, layers of it. You could taste the freshness of the pineapple, cucumber and cilantro. For that added heat, some Sriracha and fried shallots for crunch. Delicious!
No. 7 Sub's offerings may seem untraditional, but these sandwich creations offer great flavor, texture and a sense of the unknown with every bite. Their bread, which was not doughy at all and had that crunchy crust, comes from Caputo’s Bakery in Brooklyn. Excellent choice guys! Isn’t this what you want from a sub? It is that uniqueness that makes these sandwiches a crowd pleaser that has folks returning again and again.
They started this all in their Fort Greene, Brooklyn restaurant, and located their first standalone shop in the Ace Hotel location. There are three other locations; a soon to open sandwich shop/bar on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a kiosk at the renowned Plaza Hotel at 5th Ave and Central Park South and one in Dumbo, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 11 Water Street.
I should tell you that these subs are not priced the same as those chain sub shops. These subs are high-end with a lot of fresh and unique ingredients. So the costs of the subs are a bit more. The Cauliflower Cheesesteak goes for $10 and the Goodfella will run you $12 with the No.7 being $13. OK, so they a bit higher in cost, but there is no doubt these babies are worth it. With a line outside the door at lunchtime, there are a lot of New Yorkers that think so too.