9 New York sandwiches that take you beyond the ordinary
By Cindy Augustine, for CNN
Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT) March 11, 2017
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Pulled Duroc Pork Sandwich from Num Pang Sandwich Shop – Num Pang Sandwich Shop, a Cambodian banh mi-style sandwich shop, serves an addictive pulled Duroc pork with spiced honey, accompanied by cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro and chili mayo.
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The Italian Combo from Court Street Grocers – Court Street Grocers' owner spent two years perfecting this seemingly simple sandwich. It's a blend of mortadella, capicola, soppressata, Swiss, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, red onion, arugula, mayo and Court Street's hoagie spread.
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Burnt Ends Sandwich from Mighty Quinn's Barbeque – Mighty Quinn's may be a latecomer to New York's sandwich scene -- it opened in 2013 -- but it's already attracted a legion of devotees. The charred Burnt Ends Sandwich is our favorite.
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Lobster Roll from Luke's Lobster – Luke's Lobster has been keeping New York City steadily supplied with top-quality lobster rolls since 2009.
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Broccoli Classic from No. 7 sub – No. 7's Broccoli Classic features roasted broccoli, feta cheese, fried shallots, mayo and a touch of lychee.
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Classic Sliders from The Meatball Shop – The Meatball Shop's popular classic consists of hand-rolled beef meatball with tomato sauce. The sauce is the real star -- the shop has gone through more than 55,000 gallons of it since opening six years ago.
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Smoked Meat Sandwich from Mile End Deli – Mile End's uber-popular Smoked Meat Sandwich is packed with dry-cured brisket that's been spiced, smoked and piled high on rye bread (with mustard, natch).
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Falafel Sandwich from Mamoun's – Mamoun's is the oldest and the best falafel restaurant in the city. It's been serving good-value deep-fried spiced chickpea balls in pita with tahini sauce and salad since 1971.
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Chicken Parm Sandwich from Parm – Parm takes the classic chicken Parmigiana sandwich to another level by getting every ingredient right -- tangy tomato sauce, perfectly pounded chicken and just the right amount of basil leaves.
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New York City's sandwich scene now goes way beyond the pastrami on rye at Katz's Deli
New bread-wrapped innovations include a pulled pork twist on the classic Vietnamese banh mi
(CNN)Nearly as potent a symbol as the bagel, the black-and-white cookie and the pizza slice, Katz Deli's pastrami on rye sandwich is the quintessential New York snack.
Yes, that's the one from "When Harry Met Sally" -- the orgasm-inducing sandwich that led to customers asking for "what she's having," with a line out the door to boot.
But in New York City, there's always room for improvement (this is, after all, the home of the cronut) and, over the past few years, there have been a slew of great new sandwiches served across the Big Apple.
Each innovation is more exciting than the last, adding a little something special to a city-dweller's lunch.
Here are nine New York sandwiches that deserve ranking alongside Katz's pastrami on rye:
1. Pulled Duroc Pork Sandwich from Num Pang Sandwich Shop
A hit since first opening in 2009, this small chain of shops selling Cambodian banh mi-style sandwiches proved that even something as familiar as pulled pork deserves an upgrade.
At Num Pang, they serve pulled Duroc pork with spiced honey accompanied by cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro and chili mayo on a semolina or quinoa baguette.
It is, in a word, addictive.
Num Pang Sandwich Shop, 140 E 41 St, New York City, NY 10017;
Chef/owner Daniel Holzman's dream of opening a restaurant that only serves meatballs and meatball subs was realized in 2010 and the now-beloved eatery, The Meatball Shop, struck gold with its sliders.
The meatball and sauce combo in a mini bun allows diners to mix and match sauces and meats, but the classic -- a single beef meatball, hand-rolled in-house, with a simple tomato sauce -- is where it's at.
Their classic tomato sauce has been a hit in its own right: Since opening six years ago, TMS has gone through over 55,000 gallons of it and is now selling it in shops and online.
The Meatball Shop, 200 9th Avenue Chelsea, New York City, NY 10011;
6. Burnt Ends Sandwich from Mighty Quinn's Barbeque
Still a youngster in the NYC food scene, Mighty Quinn's began selling its barbecue from a booth in an outdoor Brooklyn food market.
By 2013, it'd found a home in the East Village -- along with a legion of devotees.
Its style, a mix of Carolina/Texas barbecue, makes for unforgettable pulled pork, spare ribs and especially burnt ends -- which are deserving of their own sandwich.
The charred ends of brisket are served on a freshly baked bun and smothered with house-made sauce.
Unsurprisingly it's one of the most popular items served.
Mighty Quinn's, 103 2nd Avenue, New York City, NY 10003;
7. Smoked Meat Sandwich from Mile End Deli
Mile End's smoked meat sandwich: Old school skills.
A Jewish/Canadian deli in Brooklyn (that's non-kosher, no less), Mile End is anything but ordinary and so is their uber-popular smoked meat sandwich.
A rival to Katz's pastrami, Mile End's sandwich is packed with dry-cured brisket that's been spiced, smoked and piled high on rye bread (with mustard, natch).
Says owner Noah Bernamoff: "Deli meats at large have become commodified like so many other traditional foods, so the real reason people love our smoked meat is because we take the time and use the care necessary to make it the old-school way -- starting with exceptional quality beef, dry-curing and smoking with real hardwood."
Mile End delicatessen, 97A Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217-2216;
8. The Italian Combo from Court Street Grocers
One might think that a sub jam-packed with Italian cured meats and cheeses shouldn't require too much thought, but in the case of Court Street Grocers, the owners took over two years to perfect their Italian Combo sandwich.
The blend of mortadella, capicola, soppressata, Swiss, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, red onion, arugula, mayo, and Court Street's hoagie spread comes together perfectly on a seeded club roll.
It's a new twist on an old classic done right.
Court Street Grocers, 485 COURT STREET BROOKLYN, NY 11231, Brooklyn, NY;
9. The Chicken Parm Sandwich from Parm
Turning a classic -- and undoubtedly familiar -- Italian-American dish into an unforgettable sandwich takes a special touch.
In the case of the chicken Parmigiana sandwich, that's provided by Parm.
With its tangy tomato sauce, perfectly pounded chicken and just the right amount of basil leaves, sandwiched in a semolina roll, the mix of comfort food meets high-end improvement yields an unforgettable sandwich.
Fans seem to think so too: Parm's sandwiches can now be found at Yankee stadium.
Parm NYC, 248 Mulberry Street, New York City, NY 10012;
Cindy Augustine is a lifestyle writer and editor living in downtown New York City. She will travel to the ends of the Earth for a great meal, especially if it involves pizza. See her pictures on Instagram and follow her on Twitter.