It was pouring outside when I walked into JoeDough, Dobias was cooking in back and a woman took orders at the long counter up front. Being a conflicted Jew myself, it seemed natural to order the "Conflicted Jew" sandwich which comes with chicken liver, bacon and onions on challah. However, I'd gorged on my grandmother's chopped liver over the Thanksgiving weekend, and was feeling momentarily less conflicted. Instead I went with the "L.E.S. French Dip," which comes with griddled tongue, a horseradish mayo and au jus (menu here).
I asked for a glass of ice water and the counterwoman replied, "we can't really give you water if we're selling it." Touché, I guess. Also be aware that it's cash only, and all sandwiches are $10 including tax, which makes me wonder what the value proposition is with the "Wedge Sandwich" of iceberg lettuce and blue cheese dressing. Someone else is going to have to order that to find out. (Just found a picture here. Doesn't seem worth it, does it?)
Regardless, I enjoyed the sandwich. The griddled tongue and horseradish sauce raised the obvious comparison to an Arby's roast beef sandwich, but the quality of the ingredients made it far superior. Being a tongue lover, I could appreciate the meaty bite of the sandwich versus the weak, almost paste-like consistency of a crappy Arby's roast beef. All that's needed for sandwich nirvana are a few minor adjustments. Seeing as they've only been open a few weeks, hopefully Dobias is still toying around with sandwich components and will hear my jus problems.
135 First Avenue (btwn St. Marks and 9th St.)
New York, NY 10003 (212) 780-9222