When I tasted my first spiedie in Bed Stuy, the little sandwich was a long way from home. Fork readers were quick to point out that Brooklyn Bird was doing it wrong by applying cheese and serving it on the incorrect type of bread.
The spiedie is a regional delicacy, a deconstructed fast-food sandwich popularized by Italian immigrants in the 1930's, who grilled skewers of long-marinated lamb over charcoal and took it off the skewers with a slice of fresh white bread. It is modest, working-class food--meat, bread, and nothing more. In that sense, the fast, cheap Brooklyn rendition was true to form.
But I planned a road trip to Binghamton and Endicott, deep in Spiedieland, to taste the originals. Some places still serve spiedies on the skewer, but that style is dying out, and most others pile the meat up high in a sub roll. More »