By Alex Berkman
The chicken cutlet sandwich: a simple yet versatile sandwich that rarely fails to bring satisfaction to a deli customer. Often accompanied by a certain cheese, lettuce, bacon, and special sauce, this dish has become a favorite among Byram Hills students as well as individuals across the country. Recently, two delis, Insalata Pomidoro and Schriefers Deli, have emerged as frontrunners for providing the best chicken cutlet sandwich in Armonk. But which sandwich, Insalata’s “Chicken Chipotle” or Shriefiers’ “Red Eye,” will reign supreme?
Insalata’s “Chicken Chipotle” sandwich consists of chicken cutlet, “crispy” bacon, monterrey jack, lettuce, tomato, and homemade chipotle sauce served on a roll. I asked Dylan Haber, a sophomore at Byram Hills high school and proud customer of Insalata Pomidoro, why he loves this particular sandwich. Haber commented, “I can always count on Insalata to get a consistently good sandwich with fresh bread, quality ingredients, and a chipotle sauce I cannot find anywhere else.” Meanwhile, Shreifers’ “Red Eye” sandwich consists of chicken cutlet, melted pepper jack, hot sauce, bacon, and bleu cheese, also served on a roll. Owen Kirkwood, a sophomore at Byram Hills high school, described exactly why he has remained such a loyal customer to Shreifers over all these years: “Schriefers is always a reliable source of delicious sandwiches that are all carefully crafted in perfect proportions.” To finally put an end to this ongoing debate, I recently tasted both sandwiches. Here’s what I thought:
The Chicken Chipotle
When you pick up this sandwich, the first thing that becomes abundantly clear is the freshness of the bread. The sandwich is light and the roll is soft, warm, and buttery- always a good sign. When I take my first bite, the chipotle mayo oozes out. The sauce is creamy and mild in spiciness, but maintains a flavor that instantly pops; and from this first bite, I can already tell that the chipotle mayo is the shining star of this sandwich. I guess it is called the “Chicken Chipotle” for a reason, right? To continue, the lettuce on the sandwich is firm and maintains a nice crunch, rather than being moist and flimsy, which is what you absolutely do NOT want to see. The bacon, as the menu promised, is in fact “crispy” and is an excellent complement to the sandwich. I mean, it’s not like I actually thought the bacon could make the sandwich worse. Bacon makes everything better! Finally, the heart of the sandwich, the infamous chicken cutlet, has a nice thick cut and breaded coating. I would have preferred if the chicken cutlet was less bland in flavor, as it was slightly hidden behind the sandwich’s other ingredients, but overall, this sandwich was delicious, and I will certainly be back soon to order another.
The Red Eye
Unlike Inslata’s “Chicken Chipotle,” the “Red Eye” roll does not possess anywhere near the same level of freshness. I would not go as far as to say that the bread was stale, but I would’ve hoped to see a softer, fresher roll. That being said, I hoped for the best, and took the first bite with an open mind despite the poor first impression. Immediately, the strip of chicken cutlet stands out. It has great texture, a rich taste, and unlike Insalata’s “Chicken Chipotle,” it is in fact the star of the show. The combination of bleu cheese and pepper jack provides a strong combination that works really well with the overall heat and spiciness of the sandwich, and the bacon is crisp, sizzling, and flavorful; it provides great crunch and adds texture to the sandwich. Normally I do not have an issue with spicy foods, but for me, the hot sauce was a tad too poignant and overpowering in flavor for my liking. However, if you are someone who loves spicy foods, this sandwich is most likely perfect for you. Overall, this sandwich was extremely tasty, and I will definitely come back for more.
The “Chicken Chipotle” brought freshness through its ingredients; meanwhile, the “Red Eye” brought explosion and pop to the taste buds. While both sandwiches were satisfying and delicious in their own right, I will choose freshness any day of the week.