Black Tree Sandwich Shop: NYC’s New Sloppy, Saucy, Farm-Fresh Joint

When two guys from Brooklyn asked themselves what they would do if they won the lottery, their answer catapulted them into opening a sandwich shop that has, within a year, expanded from a nook behind a Crown Heights inn, to its own neon-and-brick den on the Lower East Side. NYC, shake hands with new-kid-on-the-block Black Tree, where every single ingredient – from the cheesy, pork-filled sandwiches to the lilac, celery, & mint cocktails – is from Union Square’s Greenmarket and farms upstate. 

But let’s face it: local, seasonal, farm-to-table, blah blah blah is everywhere now in New York, so what makes Black Tree worth packing? "The cost," says co-owner Sandy Hall. "We use all the same fresh ingredients as the most high-end places, but keep it affordable by having just us two work at the shop, and not making the dishes look pretty by just sticking it all on a sandwich."

However, these sandwiches are actually very, very good looking. With mushrooms the size of mini lightbulbs bursting from oozing fried eggs, and brown butter apple sauce, duck, and braised pork belly tucked into ciabatta bread from Carroll Gardens’ Caputo’s Fine Foods – it’s basically eye-candy foreplay for your churning, yearning stomach. 

The only thing that isn’t pretty: the mess you make when you eat ’em. They’re sloppy, they’re sauced, the broccoli rabe and rosemary garlic slip like Slinkies onto the wooden plate. The pork belly melt off the bread like a vanilla sundae. So come here wearing a bib and get ready for the mess brigade to follow. 

But is it worth it? Yes. In fact, I walked out of that woody spot with a stain on my t-shirt after downing their creamy bacon-and-bread-pudding (see below), and I’m gonna wear that shirt stain like a badge of honor. Probably wear it to their weekend brunch. Yep, that’s what I’ll do. VIVA Black Tree.

Black Tree

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Num Pang Opens Today In Chelsea Market, Already Packed With Hungry People

You know those chili-mayo-and-cilantro-soaked banh mi sandwiches – full of glazed pork belly, coconut tiger shrimp, and spiced honey pork – tucked into crunchy, baked baguettes? The ones from Num Pang, that packed Cambodian spot off Union Square, Madison Square, and Grand Central? Well today marks the opening of its fourth location in what is basically NYC’s Asian-Vegan-Seafood-Italian culinary Epcot known as Chelsea Market. And as you can see from the photo, not only does Num Pang "welcome friends & fam" with a very loving, chalk-written welcome sign, but Num Pang’s opening has already been sniffed out by tons of NYers who know a good Asian sandwich when they taste it, and tourists who know a good buzz when they see it.

And unlike all other Num Pang locations, you can only find their new roast beef and coriander sandwich, and chicken salad with spicy cashew sandwich at this new Chelsea Market location – none others. But don’t worry, their five-spiced glazed pork belly, BBQ brisket, and watermelon juice are still there. Always there for you.

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