Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm a Food Blogger and I Ate a Sandwich!

Sorry for the sarcasm, but I haven't had anything interesting to say lately. That said, I'd like to announce that the other night, at Jodough, the new sandwich shop and second restaurant from chef and owner Joe Dobias, I ate a sandwich. I know, I know, this was a very important occasion, wholly worth writing about. I probably would have just gone on with my life, keeping my new-found sandwich wisdom to myself, had I not experienced a few minor irritations with, what on the whole was a good sandwich.

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?)

Anyway, after a few minutes my sandwich was complete and ready to be devoured. Alongside the sandwich, the au jus sat steaming in a tall, narrow "We are Happy to Serve You" cup. Not an ideal jus delivery system. The realization that I couldn't actually dip my french dip hit me hard, so I resorted to more drastic means. First, I tried to simply pour the jus over the sandwich, but this did little, as the salty jus simply flowed out the ass-end and onto my tray. Then I hit on a better idea, I'd take a mouthful of jus before taking a bite of the sandwich, ideally injecting the jus into the bread intra-orally. This worked slightly better, but was awkward as hell. It would help if the sandwich, served on a brioche-like roll, was cut in half (or better yet, served on a long baguette or roll like the classic French Dip), because once I was actually able to dip the bread, I got some excellent bites.

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.

Joe Dough
135 First Avenue (btwn St. Marks and 9th St.)
New York, NY 10003 (212) 780-9222
Joedough on Urbanspoon


  1. No water? Not even tap water? That's just bad form...

  2. I've been there twice. The first time I had the brisket, which was pretty good. the second time I ordered a chicken avocado club to go, and it was ice-cold and the bread had been toasted much earlier in the day, so it was limp and cold. I wrote a very nice email complimenting them on the brisket and saying that the chicken would have been better if the bread was crispy and not so cold. I also expressed my intention to eat there in the future. I got back a NASTY email saying that I was not welcome back in the shop. It was an inexplicably terrible attitude. Needless to say, I will not be back.


  3. Yeah, they've never seemed like the type of people to take constructive criticism. Oh well, lot of good sandwich spots around town.

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