Tuesday, April 14, 2009


La Beleca
200 W 40th Street between 7th and 8th

Feeling particularly gluttonous for lunch, I opted to scan the archives of Midtownlunch to guide me in my mealtime decision. As I jotted down a number of potential contenders on my notepad, I eventually settled on a chicken parm hero. While Midtownlunch has decisively named winners for best street meat, Chinese and Mexican options, it has been challenged to determine a winning chicken parm hero. Subjecting myself to an experiment of this sort was something I was willing to do.

One of the contestants for top honors is La Beleca, a small pizzeria just a few blocks from my office. Finding a willing coworker to join me on this task was a simple exercise and we decided to order one chicken parm hero and one eggplant parm hero, priced at $6.00 each.

It’s not that there was anything particularly wrong with the sandwich, the bread was nicely toasted, the ratio of bread to filling made the sandwich easy to eat, and the eggplant showed no signs of bitterness, but there wasn’t anything remarkably good about it either. I can’t imagine that a mediocre chicken parm is the best that midtown has to offer, and despite the enormous amount of calories that my coworker and I had consumed, we agreed that after eating an entire sandwich, we were still hungry.

Perhaps it was because my expectations were unreasonably high after having such a satisfying experience with the only other parm sandwich recommended by Midtownlunch (the calamari parm sandwich from Lazarra's), but the heros were not up to snub, and if I’m going to splurge on something heavier for lunch, I’ll look to Sophie’s for a sure winner.

Chicken Parm Sandwich:

Eggplant Parm Sandwich:

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