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Faicco’s Italian Specialties Shop On Bleecker Is Good, But Suffers… .

February 18, 2011

Faiccos storefront is indeed a throwback.

Faicco Pork Store on Bleecker Street is one of those stalwarts that’s been around forever. If I’m honest, considering the massive changes that the neighborhood has been through over the last 30 years, I’ve wondered how it has managed to stay open. As a native New Yorker, I am glad to see it there… but considering just about everything else that has folded up on Bleecker since my youth… I’m wondering how it managed to survive.

The products at the counter look good.

Look, I had to try it. I was told by a colleague the Italian sub is the real thing. I’m a big fan of Mike’s Deli on Arthur Avenue, so I feel I know from a true Italian (well, Italian-American) hero. The Italian hero at Faicco’s clocked in at a whopping $11, and consists of prosciutto, ham capicola, soppressata, mozzerella, lettuce, tomato and roasted red peppers (or sundried tomatoes). That’s a heck of a lineup. The price, though: ouch.

Hand cutting the pork.

One thing which was an awfully good sign was the fact that once I ordered the sandwich the gentleman behind the counter promptly began slicing things up fresh. That’s very good, as far as I’m concerned. The sandwich was assembled relatively quickly.

Its a whale of a sandwich.

As you can see the sandwich certainly looks impressive, and considering all the freshly cut pork products within, I was enthusiastic about taking a bite. I should add that the sandwich had some serious heft to it. It weighs a bit. It turned out to be my lunch and dinner. That at least offsets the price.

Its sexy, but if you look carefully, you can spot its Achilles heel... .

So what could be wrong? The pork products were delicious, the roasted red pepper lovely, the oil & vinegar splash enough to wake everything up, the mozzerella was fine, all in all it should be great, right?

It took me  a while to figure out where the problem with the sandwich lies.

It’s the bread.

Well constructed, but needs better bread.

Look, the sandwich has got all the right elements, but the bread is nothing special. And because there’s a serious amount of it, having simply generic(ish) bread ain’t gonna cut it. Don’t get me wrong, this is not the mush crap you get at most places, the kind that is a lot of air and not much more. But it’s also not truly dynamite bread that would set off all the flavors, give you a little bit of a fight when you try to tear it, and taste as fresh as the rest of the ingredients of the sandwich. The contents are just fine, that dead bread is what kills it. OK, “kill” is a bit strong, but it’s not going to hit the high note the meats and more within are aspiring to until they sort out a better hero roll – especially since you’re dropping $11 on it.

At least, that’s my opinion.

If you’re looking for a truly killer Italian hero downtown, I suggest trying Parisi’s.

Faicco Pork Store

260 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014
No website.

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