In case you missed City Spoonful's review of the E. Village sandwich shop, This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef, here it is...in all its meaty, cheez whiz-y glory!
Tucked away in the stream of dive bars that line First Ave. in Manhattan’s East Village is This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef, a tiny, brick-walled joint turning out flavor-packed sandwiches. For those who aren’t interested in the monster-size varieties from Katz’s and Carnegie’s, this roast-beef-and-pastrami operation has portions that satisfy without overkill. What it lacks in size, This Little Piggy makes up for with quality.
It’s a simple, low-key operation. The chalkboard menu lists just eight items, including sides, so even a drunk piggie can order herself a pastrami on rye.
And This Little Piggy recently acquired a liquor license, so bar hoppers can stop in for a $3 can of Pork Slap (or any other beer), which comes with a free roast beer slider.
The slider is fine by any standard—especially those that typically apply to free food. It’s a blushing beef slab crowned with a glob of Cheez Whiz peeking out from inside a dinner roll. The beef is steamed in house, and that extra effort was evident in each meaty, gooey, tender bite, making my Coors Light ($3.50) that much more refreshing.
But it’s the sandwiches at This Little Piggy, not the freebies and booze, that truly pull in the patrons. We tried the This Other Thing, a pastrami sandwich with coleslaw and spicy brown mustard that comes either on a roll ($9.50) or, if you feel like splurging, a hero ($12.50).
On my roll, the meat was superb, with just the right balance of salty and sweet flavors. The coleslaw contributed a crisp texture, and the spicy mustard brought a surprising tanginess and splash of moisture to the otherwise dry sandwich. Guzzle down a cold one with it and you’re good for the night.
If you’re not a pastrami fan, try the This Way, a roast beef sandwich with au jus and Cheez Whiz or the That Way—roast beef and fresh mozzarella swimming in gravy.
The first sandwich is proof that the inventor of Cheez Whiz is a genius. It literally melts with gooey cheese, which complements the salty, chewy roast beef. The fluffy, au jus–softened roll is the perfect finishing touch.
The latter sandwich, which is doused in rich gravy, is bit too soggy. But if you favor heart-stopping, diet-breaking fare, this is the guilty pleasure to pick.
Either way you go, these sandwiches will make you want to cry for joy all the way home.
This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef
149 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003
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