In a city that stands out with great sandwiches: Sunny & Annie’s, Defonte’s, Court Street Grocers, et. al: When it comes to places to go out, few bars seem to have them. Yes, many bars in New York City have the regular ole sandwich that you can squish in a precariously stocked panini press (shout out grilled pimento cheese on Doris). But a joint with sandwiches made with what I’ll affectionately call a sandwich program is more or less unheard of.
The question of why sandwiches, objectively a perfect food to accompany a drink, do not appear more in nightlife was something I reflected on while having some Lagunitas in joey rosesa bar and sandwich shop that opened on the Lower East Side last fall at 174 Rivington Street, between Clinton and Attorney streets.
From the outside Joey Roses is just a dive bar, well no single — there is a coffee table that looks like a cassette tape and the exterior structure is made to look like an RV. But interestingly, there is little advertising to suggest that sandwiches are served, unless you follow Joey Roses. instagram account where it is promoted front and center. But if he knows, he knows that owner, comedian Joe DeRosa has some unbeatable sandwich offerings that are no joke.
With inflation afoot, sandwiches in New York City have slid to an increasingly worrying standard of $15. At Joey Roses, sandwiches like the Rosie with its bologna, tomato, mayonnaise, and tangy cherries; or the Beefie with roast beef, provolone, sweet peppers, horseradish and mayonnaise is only $8. On top of that, there are two happy hour deals at the bar every day: 5-7pm and then again from 10pm-midnight, Joey Roses has a buy two sandwiches get one free deal. So essentially three sandwiches will only set you back $16 total (bring friends).
“I wasn’t going after enough unstable companies. I thought, let me add another anxiety-provoking adventure into the mix,” DeRosa said in a statement. recent podcast appearance.
A sandwich deal that good doesn’t have to taste really good. But the sandwiches, which are generously packaged, are clearly made with care, more care than most people who drink at a bar will notice.
Each one arrives with bread that DeRosa’s team takes the time to bake each day. The result is a ciabatta-like subbread that is very chewy and soaks up some of the mayonnaise and brine. The team at Joey Roses tells Eater via Instagram direct messages that the bun is a “combination of elements from other types of buns that we enjoy and wanted to combine into one,” and that they’re baked at (and a collaboration with) ) the Stand Restaurant and Comedy Club, which is also operated by an owner of Joey Roses.
For the most part, the sandwich selections are just simple variations on classic Italian combos, rather than going crazy (save for a PB&J version with fries inside). But at the Rosie, for example, the right ratio of bologna and mayonnaise makes for an easy and satisfying way to win over the crowds.
If you’re just in the mood for a sandwich instead of a dive vibe, Joey Roses sandwiches can be ordered to go.