People: RB, CK and myself
Feelings: With places like Don Antonio and La Montanara, Neapolitan style pizza craze has taken over the city this past year. It is unavoidable that panuozzo, a pizza dough sandwich from the same region, would also be popular. The Upper East Side pizzeria San Matteo has become known for this panino-calzone style sandwich, but since I never go uptown unless visiting a doctor's office, this new East Village outpost is a welcoming addition.
This small, take out friendly spin-off specializes in panuozzo in addition to espresso and homemade gelato. The pricing of the panuozzo is $7-$9 range, and considering how filling these sandwiches are, this is noteworthy.
The panuozzo slinger behind the counter promptly prepared our pizza dough sandwiches: Panuozzo Melanzane (tomato sauce, eggplant, smoked buffalo mozzarella) and Panuozzo Proscuitto Bufalina e Peperoni (prosciutto di parma, buffalo mozzarella, roasted peppers). The pizza dough is unfortunately not made in the premise; instead, they are delivered from the uptown headquarter and quietly sit in the display case, all ready to be assembled and re-baked with tasty fillings. Panuozzo Melanzane was on the greasy side, but the grease from the eggplant perfectly moistened the chewy pizza dough and locked the entire sandwich tightly together. The smokey cheese complimented the tangy-sweet tomato sauce, creating a delectable effect.
RB's proscuitto bufalina e peperoni was delicious and a perfect balance of salty cured meat and creamy and soft buffallo mozzarella.
Considering the location near Thompkin Square, there were plenty of odd visitors as we shared the sandwiches at the counter. The heat certainly makes people wild and barbaric. But the sandwich maker handled every situation politely without sweat. He may be the panuozzo jedi. The tasty pizza dough sandwiches, he makes.