One of the first things my sister Elissa said to me after I told her the location of our new apartment was that I had to try this incredible sandwich shop on Sullivan Street. After doing some digging, she remembered that the name of the shop was Alidoro & it's located on Sullivan between Spring & Prince.
After meeting for lunch 5 months later, I now get where her enthusiasm comes from. The shop is a hole in the wall and normally you'd walk right by and think nothing of it. Looks can be deceiving. The inside has a cluttered feel, as the walls are lined with Italian books & pictures and there are two tables stuffed in a corner. There's enough seating for 6-8 people and barely enough room to stand and wait in line. This is one of the reasons why there's often a line out the door.
As for the service... there are two people behind the counter making each sandwich fresh to order. I read some reviews in which the woman was referred to as the "Sandwich Nazi" and I can see why. She yells at you to give your order and if you speak too fast, she's not afraid to yell some more. There's also a long list of "NO's" taped to the wall to ensure that diners aren't foolish enough to ask for salt, pepper, basil, tomatoes, or anything else you might expect at a restaurant. This is no ordinary restaurant and you better get that in your head before you speak to the Sandwich Nazi. It takes a little while for the guy to make your sandwich because he's half slicing your meat and half watching whatever is on the 10 inch TV on his side.
You deal with it because when you finally sit down to enjoy your sandwich, you're transported to the Italian countryside. Full disclosure: I've never been to Italy. But if the sandwiches there are half as good as what they've got at Alidoro, then I can't wait to get there!
All of the ingredients in your sandwich are assembled after you place your order and you can taste the freshness of the meat & veggies in every bite. I ordered the Pinocchio sandwich on sfilatino bread (hallowed out so it's nice & crunchy and not too bread-y) while Elissa got her favorite, the Pavarotti, on focaccia bread. The pinocchio is stuffed with prosciutto, sopressata, fresh mozzarella, sweet roasted peppers, & olive paste. The pavarotti has salami, smoked mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, & sweet roasted peppers. Personally, I thought the pinocchio was superior to the pavarotti but it's all a matter of your personal taste. Order whichever sandwich tickles your taste buds. Check out the full menu here.
The sandwiches cost anywhere from $9-11 and if you veer away from their white or whole wheat breads then you're going to have to pay $1-2 for the bread of your choice. This may seem to be a bit much but the sandwiches are HUGE and can easily last for 2 meals. We both stopped eating half-way through and were quite satisfied. The other half made for a great dinner alongside the red curry tomato soup Jess cooked up later in the day.
I'm not gonna lie.. I was a bit skeptical about Lis' recommendation, but I was proven wrong. Alidoro is an amazing sandwich shop and I will definitely be back real soon to try some of the other oddly-named sandwiches on their menu.