On 1st Avenue between 9th Street and St. Marks Place you’ll find a tiny sandwich place barely big enough to turn around in. It’s fitting, because I wouldn’t recommend leaving anyway. The place is “This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef” and it’s sole purpose is serving up hot roast beef sandwiches so delicious even the most hardened Philly cheese steak enthusiast would give a tip of their Eagles cap to the chef. (Yes, they come with cheese wiz.) Perhaps the msot interesting aspect of the shop is the decor — a seemly endless assortment of bills, written on in Sharpy and taped to the walls and cieling.
The food becomes secondary as you scan the hundreds of bills, each unique and telling some sort of story (Mookie visited NYC 9-26-10 and “Dave P. Runs this sho”). But then the sandwich is placed on the counter and the full scene starts to take shape – the strangely textured walls, the cramped space, the savory aroma of perfectly cooked roast beef on a hero with aujus and cheeze wiz filling the air. It truly is a carnivore’s fairy tale.
This Way: roast beef on a roll with aujus and cheez wiz.
That Way: roast beef on Italian bread hero with gravy and fresh mozzarella.
The Other Thing: pastrami on rye with coleslaw and spicy brown mustard.
Something Else: roast beef on Italian bread hero with cheez wiz, fresh mozzarella, gravy, aujus & hand-cut fries.
There is also beef stew and some sides. But really all you need is the roast beef, aujus and cheese wiz. Any way you slice it, if you like roast beef sandwiches, consider This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef to be the Arby’s on steroids. Delicious.