On Jackson Avenue in Long Island City — a 13-block road that feels a little like a highway lined with luxury residential towers and minimal street life — it's difficult to find many comfortable neighborhood spots. One exception has been Dutch Kills, a high-end cocktail lounge with a speakeasy vibe that's been attracting locals and destination drinkers for the better part of the decade. But the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the bar's heavy steel door shut back in March. Earlier this month, however, a new sort of sustenance started emerging from the small window on the building's brick facade, in the form of gigantic, delicious sandwiches from a shop called Troppo Stretto.

Ostensibly a Los Angeles import—it's the sister shop of DTLA's popular E Stretto, also located within a cocktail bar—Troppo Stretto is really more of a mirror-image operation. Co-owner Dave Fernie has strong Brooklyn ties, and he and chef Joel Miller's partners in L.A. are Richard and Patricia Boccato, who also own Dutch Kills. A third partner in the NYC sandwich operation, Mark Ferruccio, grew up in Western New York and has lived in Brooklyn for 20 years.

The menu in the early going features a half dozen "tite sandwiches," two of which I wolfed down at the nicely-sheltered sidewalk seating area outside the bar. Well, I ate half of each one for lunch on Jackson Avenue, and then the other halves for dinner back home in Crown Heights. They traveled very well.

The Ill Papa sandwich is supposedly something of a signature L.A. Stretto creation, and for good reason: this thing is fantastic, a kind of Italian-Spanish beast stuffed with funky mortadella and capocollo, spicy chorizo, strong manchego, "shredduce", vinegary giardiniera (which also adds crunch to party), and a creamy dijonnaise. Also excellent is the Spicy Salami, with a thick stack of the thin-sliced cured meat topped with a bushel of arugula, a drizzle of Calabrian honey, and a generous dusting of parmesan.

Ill Papa ($14)

Scott Lynch / Gothamist

Other options, which I will definitely be back to try, include a Turkey Pesto with provolone; the Deli Boy, with mortadella, monterey jack, and mustard; and a vegetarian Caprese starring mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil. Everything is served on chewy ciabatta rolls from Balthazar, which hold their own under the deluge of flavors and sauces, even hours later. There are a couple of hearty salads on offer as well.

Coming soon, maybe even this weekend—they're still fine tuning the recipes and techniques—are Troppo Stretto's Breakfast Sandwich featuring eggs, jack cheese, and Calabrian spread, and their Breakfast Burrito filled with scrambled egg, hash browns, and bacon. Wine, beer, and cocktails are available, or you can ask for a disposable cup and help yourself to the barrel of lemon water on the counter.

The tables are comfortable, distanced, and shaded, but limited to two five-tops and a bench set before a smaller two-top. If you're on a bike, and the weather is pleasant, a short ride to Gantry Plaza State Park or Hunter's Point South Park, both by the water and with ample space and seating, is probably the shrewd picnic move.

Scott Lynch / Gothamist

Troppo Stretto is located within Dutch Kills at 27-24 Jackson Avenue, between Queens Street and Dutch Kills Street, and is open daily at 11 a.m. until the bread sells out, which happened by 4 p.m. when I first tried to eat here, but apparently they now order enough to get through evening (strettobros.com)