If you've got Southern roots and a taste for mayo-based "sandwich spreads," pimento cheese is probably up top on your comfort foods list. But where can you find the best versions of the dish in New York City? While you probably won't ever track down an accurate portrayal of your mom's white bread version, there are plenty of pimento cheese offerings worth ordering. After a trip to Van Horn sandwich shop in Brooklyn recently, we went on a little quest for the best, and here's what we tracked down:
Van Horn Sandwich Shop offers a Toasted Pimento Cheese Sandwich for $8. This is more like a grilled cheese with pimentos in it—but while you lose some of the Southern authenticity, you'll probably also shave off some calories (no mayo!). They also offer a BLP (bacon, lettuce, pimento)—both have received rave reviews on Yelp.
Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter (a Gothamist fave) has a pimento cheese sandwich on the menu for $8, and it even comes available on white bread. SeriousEats called their version "a creamy, fatty treat" that's best for sharing, and we've heard mumblings that it's better than some you can find down South.
The Commodore offers a pimento cheese sandwich in disguise, under the name "adult cheese," and served up for just $6. One fan declared, "the famous booze-infused pimento stuffed 'adult-cheese' is my favorite cheese sandwich anywhere."
Pig & Egg has a Hot Ham and Pimento Cheese sandwich on the menu for $12. This is probably to be avoided by the purists, however—it comes served on a fancy baguette, and features a grilled up country ham (though the pimento cheese is homemade).
At press time, it's unclear if anyone in the five boroughs has dared attempt this Pimento Cheese CAKE yet, but you can always create one of your own. We hear Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have worthy pre-made pimento options, if you want to start there for your base... or you can make your own, Paula Deen-style: