Cheeky Sandwiches

Last Summer, CT and I had a picnic in Central Park with some old friends and some new friends. As we were noshing and drinking “non-alcoholic” beverages (because booze is banned in the park and we wouldn’t dare break the law), conversations were had on a variety of topics including food. A friend of ML mentioned a shop in the Lower East Side called Cheeky Sandwiches that had some of the best Southern style sandwiches such as chicken biscuits and po-boys he has ever had. CT’s ears immediately perked up at that point so Cheeky Sandwiches was added to “The List.”

As things happened, it took about six months for us to make it down there for lunch. The shop was quite small and on a very quiet stretch of Orchard Street. Signage is minimal, so it was easy to miss. It turns out the shop focuses on New Orleans fare as that’s where the owner is originally from. It was very sparsely decorated in a very shabby, hole-in-the-wall way. As long as the food is good, I couldn’t care less how a place is decorated.

They didn’t have many choices when it came to drinks either. CT had an iced ginger tea ($1.75) and I had a “Big Shot” orange soda. This was a New Orleans brand of soda. Even though I hardly ever drink soda, I decided to make an exception this time. It was refreshing, but expectedly the same as pretty much all other brands of orange soda. The tea tasted as if it was made in-house. It was super gingery, so it had some real spice/heat to it. I stole some at the end of the meal as it made a great digestif.

CT immediately ordered her chicken biscuit without even looking at the miniscule menu. It came on a buttermilk biscuit with cole slaw and gravy for $6.50. Quite different from the one you can get at Pies & Thighs. The owner/cashier seemed a little surprised we wanted it to go, but it wasn’t very often that it gets to 60 degrees in January, so we took our food to the nearby park. Once unwrapped, we understood the strange look. It was not a sandwich meant for travel, even a couple of blocks. It held up pretty well and although a bit messy, the flavors more than made up for it. The chicken was nicely fried with a good bit of crunch and the cole slaw cut any greasiness. The biscuit was nice and fresh and hardly crumbled at all, yet wasn’t a rock.

I tried ordering the po-boy but unfortunately they were out, so the owner sold me on the Beef ($8). It had braised short rib, horseradish sauce, arugula, cherry tomatoes on Challah bread. While it makes a fine French Toast or bread pudding, I was a little surprised to see it as a sandwich. Even though it was toasted, it was still a bit floppy, so the paper wrapping was needed to keep it all together. The short rib was excellent! Super tender and flavorful. The horseradish brought a little zip along with the peppery arugula and sweet cherry tomatoes. It was a very good sandwich.

We shared a bag of Zapp’s chips, which were imported from New Orleans. I chose the Cajun flavor to stay as classic as possible. I assume that is the most popular flavor, but I have yet to visit New Orleans. I prefer kettle chips over regular potato chips since they get crunchier. The flavor was like a muted salt & vinegar with a bit a spice. I enjoyed them and glad we shared.

I also ordered some “ben-yays” (3 for $1) for dessert. The owner gave us these on the house, which was a pleasant surprise. These little fried balls of dough and powdered sugar really hit the spot after the savory meal.

All in all, Cheeky Sandwiches make some fine sandwiches. Prices were super reasonable and service was very friendly. Since I am not usually in that area around lunchtime, I don’t know when I will return, but I definitely want to try that po-boy.

Cheeky Sandwiches on Urbanspoon


  1. says

    Love the name of this little place you visited. Zapp’s most popular flavor is the Craw-tator if I’m not mistaken. I used to work in the little town where they were made. Glad you enjoyed a hometown (of mine) favorite.

  2. says

    Beignets! Were you too lazy to Google the proper spelling? OMG, I have to go here! TC is about to go to NO and I’m so jealous of all that he’s going to be eating!!!

    Um, can I assume it’s purple because it was purple cabbage in the cole slaw? I seriously thought you were going to write about blueberry jam or something, hahaha. Looks so good though!!!

    • says

      No, I wasn’t too lazy! Did you notice a little thing called quotation marks? That’s how it was written on the menu, so that’s how I wrote it. 😛

      Yup, purple is from the slaw.

    • CT says

      You definitely should try it out… totally worth a visit in my opinion. I was glad we finally got down there (and it’s not too far from my volunteering spot!) I’ll admit, upon opening the chicken biscuit I was a little worried, but it was really really good. Totally satisfied my craving – the biscuit was so buttery and delicious!

  3. MLC says

    In New Orleans everyone runs for beignets at triple the price. To me they are nothing but fried dough with a lot of help from the powdered sugar.

  4. angel van says

    Oh the memories of Big Shot. NOLA favorites are strawberry and pineapple. Mine being the former. For Zapps, I gotta have my Cajun Dill. I always have to go grab a couple bags if I am anywhere near a Cost Plus World Market. The beignets look a little denser then the ones I am use to though. So miss NOLA food!

    • CT says

      Wow – sounds like there are quite a lot of varieties of these chips! I’m gonna have to investigate further for sure. Jalapeno sounds good! I’m not a pickle fan though, so not sure I’d like the dill.

      • angel van says

        There is definitely a ton of flavors out there. You can even order it right from their site. This is one of the junk food items I miss the most from NOLA. Big Shot, Barq’s root beer, Zapp chips, Elmer chee wees, king cake and pralines. YUM! Sugar high and super big carb content!

  5. T.C. says

    Zapp’s is an awesome chip.
    I can’t wait to nosh on a po boy. Hopefully Shrimp.

    Those looks more like zeppoles than beignets. Fried dough covered in powdered sugar is always welcomed though and on the house too!

    • CT says

      Hmm… I think zeppoles are denser than beignets, right? These, though they may look dense, were actually quite soft inside. Really nicely done.

    • says

      Go to Southern Candymakers while there T.C. In the French Quarter. On Decatur Street. One of my favorite places for pralines. Besides the Mrs. Dee’s I can get locally.

      • T.C. says

        Thanks Jenn. I checked it out since there was time before Lundi Gras but there wasn’t a fresh batch of original pralines but I did buy a sampling of the broken pieces/ crumbles left. I tried their chocolate pralines and enjoyed like them.

        We were by the Riverwalk Marketplace and really liked the PaPa Pralines. Very good recipe. Buttery and sweet.

        • says

          There is a type of praline that is nearly white, sort of sandy and crumbly, that is my favorite type. Southern Candymakers creates one like that. I’m not near the Riverwalk too much, but next time I have a conference to attend there, I’ll have to check out PaPa’s.

          Hope your enjoyed yourself in New Orleans!

  6. chakrateeze says

    The best imo Zapps are the jalapeno kind. So good!

    Mmm! Reading your post puts me in the mood for some crawdads. Gotta suck them heads!


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