The Strangest Sandwiches in the City Come From Sunny & Annie's

The deli sandwiches from my neighborhood bodega are reserved for particular times of day: 4 a.m., when I'm stumbling home drunk, or around midday after a big night out when I'm stocking up on water and Advil and don't have the willpower to wait for a more decent meal to soak up the hangover.

Sunny and Annie's is not in my neighborhood--it's in the Lower East Side. But it's still a bodega, and so I was skeptical. I quickly learned, though, that this bodega offers some strange things from its deli counter, a menu of sideshow freak sandos with head-scratching names, quirky misspellings, and a slight political bent.

A rainbow of neon construction paper, each sheet scrawled with a different sandwich description, is taped to the glass of the deli case, and it can be a hazard to pause and read: You'll be forced to contend with shoppers squeezing by to grab sundries off the narrow aisle's shelves. But if you can secure a good position, you'll notice some absurd descriptions amid the classics, all served on 10-inch hoagie buns.

The inexplicably named 2013, for instance, stacks three kinds of cheese, dried cranberries, cantaloupe, cucumbers, avocado, arugula, onion, green chile sauce, and pesto between two halves of a roll, a senseless amalgamation of produce and green sauce that I'm still trying to understand. Of course I had to order it.

The first thing I noticed about the $8 sandwich was its weight, which was probably around two pounds. Mozzarella, cheddar, and provolone cheese account for a fair amount of the heft; pairing those with avocado, cantaloupe, and cranberry creates a flavor profile akin to the one-two punch of a slice of cheddar with apple pie. The raw onion and green chili sauce add a spicy note, but the earthy, nutty pesto sauce is a weird addition. I still haven't figured out what any of this has to do with 2013, by the way. And the sandwich is unrelated to the 2011--a mix of hummus, avocado, and other veggies--as well as the 2012, made with tuna.

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