The largely unmarked Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop on the corner of Rivington and Norfolk streets is our favorite cheap sandwich shop for a relaxed, quick sit-down meal in a comfortable environment. It's not as though we had a favorite low-cost sandwicherie before eating at Tiny's; we only made up the category after our first time eating there more than a year ago. Their sandwiches, many of which can be made vegetarian-friendly, come with a side of potato chips and cost $5 or less for a regular size. We have never ventured to find out what the larger size is since the small has always been enough to satiate our belly.
Our favorite is the classic grilled cheese, a gooey combination of melted cheddar, provolone, mozzarella and tomato smooshed between substantial slices of white or 7-grain bread whose every wheaty pore is infused with butter. We added sautéed onions for $1, resulting in a mouthful of soft chopped onion filling in every cheesy bite.
You can also make your own sandwich out of any of their ingredients if the established creations fail to please you. Our friend made her own ham, lettuce and tomato sandwich on a brioche roll.
The only "miss" we've had so far is the crab cake sandwich, which tasted more like a soggy, mashed potato sandwich, something that would've only been okay if we were expecting a soggy mashed potato sandwich. Anything with melted cheese has been good to us so far. If you're as into gooey strands of curdled milk as we are be sure to check out the "Silly Philly Portobello", an awesome combination of sliced portobello mushrooms, sautéed onion and melted provolone.
Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop is located at 129 Rivington Street (at Norfolk Street). 212-982-1690