While Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop is easily our favorite cheap sandwicherie, we also have a designated favorite not-so-cheap sandwicherie: Blue Ribbon Bakery. Sandwiches are only offered during lunch time, but that might be a good restriction so that we don't blow money on them too often, which mostly cost between $12 and $15.
Are the sandwiches worth the price? As they've managed to bring us an inordinate amount of joy from eating flavorful, well-balanced ingredients smushed between two slices/halves of bread freshly born out of their underground lair of wheat in a warm, friendly environment, we think yes. These sandwiches won't change your life, but they will fill your belly, a feat that may be accomplished just by eating one half of a sandwich depending on how hungry you are.
We've always been able to finish our entire sandwich, such as the fried catfish on soft ciabatta with sweet corn tartar sauce on the side. The mountain of shoestring fries provided an extra dose of deep fried tastiness, but the awesomeness of shoestring fries is a little lost on us as we find that they taste like potato chips (which is good!) in a more difficult to eat form (which is...less good).
We didn't know how good beef tongue tasted -- like other parts of the cow, except more tender and juicy -- until we tried the tongue sandwich topped with pickled onions on a thin, chewy baguette.
You could leave Blue Ribbon Bakery without getting one of their ginormous desserts (please share with at least one other person unless you want to go into a sugar coma), but that would be foolish and an insult to their indulgent dessert menu. Wiggle some space into your stomach for their banana walnut bread pudding drenched with banana caramel sauce and topped with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream whose sweet, creamy dribbles also become one with the sauce as it melts over the warm bread pudding. Eat it and then -- in a state of being mildly food coma-ed -- stagger out into the daylight, happily stuffed.
Blue Ribbon Bakery is located at 35 Downing Street (at Bedford Street). 212-337-0404