When it comes to the wonderful world of lunch meats, there are sandwiches and then there are SANDWICHES. A slew of new spots have recently opened in Brooklyn that focus on the screaming end of the sandwich spectrum, striving to outdo each other with bread-based meals that are cheesier, meatier, and over-the-top-ier than what’s in anyone else’s lunchbox. Falling decidedly on the crazy side of the sandwich craze is BOOMwich (all-caps theirs), which opened in Boerum Hill last week, taking over the small Atlantic Avenue space formerly home to Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwich Shop.
BOOMwich comes from Peter Entner, the man behind Pete Zaaz, Crown Heights’ only purveyor of fried chicken-and-squash topped pizza, so it’s no surprise to hear that the sandwich offerings here are a bit off-the-wall, to say the least. (Zaaz, by the way, recently closed following a management shakeup, but will reopen soon).
The Zaaz spirit returns here in the form of a fried chicken and curried yellow squash sandwich topped with fontina, stewed collard greens and pickled Thai chilis, served, like all of the sandwiches at BOOMwich, on a deliciously fluffy pretzel roll. That’s one of the more modest offerings at BOOMwich though. Additional options range from super-meaty (an excellent Cuban made with Dr. Pepper-marinated roast pork butt, country ham, provolone and pickles) to veggie-but-still-pretty-crazy (balsamic roasted portobello with fried brussels leaves, red pepper coulis and goat cheese).
Because I have an addiction to always ordering the most outrageous thing on the menu, I tried the chili con carne, which layers slow-cooked beef with pork chili, ancho mole and pickled corn kernels, all on a pretzel bun smothered in supremely creamy house-made burrata cheese and finished by what they call “frito gremolata”–lemony fried garlic chips.
It’s a messy mound of a sandwich, and the flavors are spot-on. But I have to say I’ve grown a little tired of the SANDWICH school of cooking. For me, the-over-the-top offerings at BOOMwich fall into the ramen burger category of food trends–worth trying once for the novelty factor, but considering their chili con carne made me want to lie down for pretty much the rest of the day, I don’t see ever ordering it for lunch again. I may have to try one of their simpler sandwiches next time, like the more laid-back falafel, which of course still comes with a roasted red pepper sauce and lemon gelee. You knew they weren’t going to keep it that simple.
BOOMwich, 311 Atlantic Avenue (near Smith); 718.643.9229