Vegetarian Delights of NYC: Abraco's Butternut and Parm Sandwich
Both vegetarian and delightful.
Although Abraco is known primarily for its outstanding coffee, it's also got some rather stellar food. Chef-partner Elizabeth Quijada turns out some impressive pastries, including a famed olive oil cake, as well as an excellent savory menu. Though her seasonal menu changes daily, it always features a vegetarian sandwich.
Today's was butternut squash and Parmesan. The squash was sliced to thin ribbons and roasted, then pressed into a slender length of puffy, olive oil-rich bread with a generous shower of cheese. The fillings alone would have made this a good sandwich, but it was catapulted to an even more stratospheric level by the bread, whose cut sides had been griddled to a toasty brown before the sandwich was assembled. The result was hot, crunchy wedded bliss between the sweet squash and salty cheese. And although the sandwich's narrow proportions made it appear potentially less satisfying than a hulking sub, it proved to be filling enough to sate raging midday hunger pangs.
The sandwich's only drawback is its ephemeral nature -- because the menu changes daily, there's no telling when it will reappear (Abraco's co-owner Jamie McCormick had no idea what today's sandwich would be until it literally emerged from the kitchen), or when it does, how long it will last -- the shop's sandwiches tend to sell out by 2:30. But herbivores can rest assured that no matter what Abraco puts on its bread, it will be vegetarian-friendly.
86 East 7th Street