On a rainy, gloomy afternoon very similar to this one, I pulled up my hood and headed to the East Village in search of sustenance. My destination was Northern Spy—the day called for something hearty and comforting, and I’d heard great things about that restaurant’s chicken and egg sandwich.
Despite my misgivings about the cut of poultry utilized, it sounded like the perfect antidote to my entirely self-diagnosed seasonal affective disorder.
Even though I’d come specifically for that sandwich, I settled in with my coffee and perused the (local/seasonal/sustainable) menu anyway.
I was nearly swayed by the meatball sub but, after discussing my options with the waiter, decided that it sounded like a heftier lunch than I could handle. Instead, I stuck with the original plan and was glad that I did when my plate arrived.
The egg was beautifully poached and separated from the chicken by a bed of colorful, verdant chimichurri; note that the top half of the roll was considerately hollowed to fully accommodate its precariously perched protein. I added a few strands of pickled onions and closed the lid, and yolk instantly oozed out: all the invitation I needed to dig in.
That first taste revealed a rich, meaty mess, and I mean “mess” in the best possible way. The chicken was nice and crispy, with none of the textural aspects I so dislike—if all thighs were cooked like this one, I might have to permanently revise my position on the subject. The entire affair was served on a pillowy-soft roll, enlivened by the astringency of both chimichurri and onions, and so incredibly satisfying that I tried to make it last as long as possible. That last idea might not’ve been a great one—by the time I got down to the last few bites, the bread had almost completely disintegrated—but there was no getting around it. It’s next to impossible to rush something this good.
Northern Spy Food Co.
511 East 12th Street
New York, NY