Que sera sera. Only about 2 or so months ago did the happy denizens of this board point my NYU butt to the sandwich haven that was Abbondanza's with their high quality REAL meat sandwiches, and their liberal helpings of fried onions. One day I go in to find not my beloved gruff 50s sandwich men, but two young guys who seem to be CBS sitcom-esque replacements for them. According to one of them, Scott and Steve have moved to Florida, sold Abbondanza's to them, and are never "ever" going to return.
I asked that last question several times just to be sure.
Since then the quality of the food has decreased significantly (the bread not in the oven long enough, the meat not as fresh, the specials not as tantalizing as they once were from above the counter) and my poor NYU student bee-hind has been left to search for other foodstuffs.
Desperate, I tried what seemed to be the closest replacement: The Crosby Connection. Seeking the same sort of Miracle-wich I had found at 'Danza's, I got their at 10:55 to obtain a chicken mama-mia, with "Grilled Chicken Breast" bazil, tomato sauce and ricotta. It sounded excellent and I was electrified to the taste until I bit in... and realized they were using fake chicken breast. Not to say it wasn't made of chicken, but that it was the sickly color, faded brown lines and rubbery texture of ersatsz food. Disgusted and deeply saddened, I cast my sandwich into the garbage and proceeded to walk back to the dorm feeling dirty.
Since then, I have found no immediate replacement for Abbondanza's, the place where I would go for comfort in sandwich form, where whenever I brought friends the guys would get me an order of french fries on the house and would reprimand me for addressing them as sir. The same sandwich I once got is now both worse and 2 dollars more. Olive's in Soho is good but far away and so busy at lunchtime that I can barely get in the door.
Also SoHo doesn't have the heart that Bleecker street once did.
One day in December, I saw Steve shoveling across the street at Indian Bread Co while the streets were icy and unamangeable. I asked him why he would do such a thing, seeing as it wasn't his sidewalk. He told me that just because it wasn't his sidewalk didn't mean that people deserved to get hurt.
RIP, Italian for big meal.