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Oct 16, 2010 08:15 AM

Cheeky Sandwiches – Amazing New Orleans stlye sandwiches in the LES

see full review with pics:

Cheeky is a small sandwich place that I noticed walking to Chinatown and decided I should try it. It turned out to be one of the better places I’ve been to in NY in a long time. It’s one of the many new restaurants that have opened up in the Lower Eastside that is really making the neighborhood’s food scene markedly better. The owner is a really nice guy from New Orleans and he opened up the place in December 2009.

The place is small and the kitchen takes up a good amount of the place with benches along the sides where you can eat. Most of the clientele is pretty local and I think are mainly regulars as everyone seems to know the owner and vice versa. The menu is fairly small and consists of 5 or 6 New Orleans style sandwiches and some sides like chips and beignets. I love specialist type places and this is a very good one.

Here’s what we got:
- Chicken sandwich: This is fried chicken on a house-made buttermilk biscuit with coleslaw & gravy. This is delicious albeit very unhealthy. The buttermilk biscuit is really good, very flavorful and buttery, not overly salty and just generally good. The chicken is fried to order, nice and crispy, not overly oily. It all goes well with the thick white gravy and the coleslaw which is actually mainly just red cabbage (different than normal cole slaw, which I’m not a big fan of). Really great sandwich.
- ½ Fried Oyster and ½ Fried Shrimp Po’boy: this sandwich is unbelievable. The oysters and shrimp are high quality and fried fresh when you order. The batter he uses is so good. It’s dressed with a little mayo, lettuce and tomatoes. The bread he uses is really good too. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but definitely one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in NY.
- Beef sandwich: This is braised short-ribs with wild arugula, cherry tomatoes, & horseradish sauce on challa bread. The bread is really good, semi sweet and grilled similar to a grilled cheese sandwich. The beef is quite tender and tasty, I would like it to be slightly more together as it’s completely braised until its strands of beef, but nonetheless quite good. The cherry tomatoes and horseradish sauce go very well with the beef, another winner.
- Beignets: these are similar to doughnut holes, but the batter is a bit heavier than a regular doughnut. They are fresh fried to order and then dusted with confectioner’s sugar. I really like these a lot.

Overall, this is a great restaurant. I highly recommend going there ASAP.

Cheeky Sandwiches
35 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

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  1. Seconded. I love this place and have had all three sandwiches you've named. The po' boy is one of the best sandwiches in NYC and far better than any other one I've had in the city. I liked the beef, but it got a little boring after awhile. Would go for the chicken biscuit over that.

    The only issue with the sandwiches is that big eaters might need two (so get the chicken biscuit along with the po boy and you're set).

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChiefHDB

      the po boy is def my favorite sandwich and then followed by the chicken biscuit

      really one of the best places i've found in NY in a long time

    2. maybe it depends on the day/time you buy the sandwhich, i had an oyster po boy where there were very few oysters were in it, maybe only 1 oyster that was a whole piece, the rest seemed like odd pieces of oyster bits and crispy crumbs... you couldnt really taste much of the oyster, and from what i could taste, it didnt seem too fresh... .

      5 Replies
      1. re: Pigurd

        Appreciate the warning. What day/time did you buy it?

        1. re: squid kun

          Pigurd - that is odd, i think you might've been there on a off day, I've eaten there every weekend the past month and a half or so and i've found it to be very consistent. although i guess i could see that happening as the cook is sort of a space cadet if the owner isn't there (he's there most of the time) then things sort of run at a glacial pace

          Squid Kun - they always cook everything fresh to order so it does take them a minute to fry, i prefer the 1/2 and 1/2 to the full oyster or shrimp fyi

          1. re: Lau

            i went on a thursday at around 2 or 3 pm so i was the only one there.. maybe they ran out of the fresh stuff at lunch and gave me the scraps from the left over buckets of oysters they had.. i really like deep fried oysters, but i am scared to try again.. maybe their shrimps or other sandwhiches would be a safer bet ... the place looks interesting though, i thought it was renovating when i went in... it has a post hurricane shanty town look. who is the owner though? an asian person? i think he was there.

            1. re: Pigurd

              here is a pic i took.. that one piece was the only whole piece of oyster, the rest crumbs... i guess for the price u dont expect too much, but i usually see po boy sandwhiches loaded with toppings until it falls out... is this a usual sandwhich, or did they just not like me?

              1. re: Pigurd

                hmm that does look weird. look at my pic, they have tons of oysters in it (click on the actual picture to see the big version of the pic):

                you should try it again, get the 1/2 and 1/2 that is the best. i like oysters alot, but if they had something i thought was suspect i wouldn't eat them

                the owner is a tall black guy with glasses (really nice dude), the asian guy helps work the fryer (if the owner is there they both work it)...the asian guy is a total space cadet if he is there by himself, he's way slow

      2. Thanks for the report, Lau.

        Here's their menu:

        But no prices. No prices on their menu either. So, how much are they charging?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Pan

          i think the sandwiches run about $8-9, the beignets are $1

          1. re: Lau

            Are the sandwiches about as big as a banh mi?

        2. why isn;t there a regular non-veg muffaletta on the menu? seems a huge oversight

          1 Reply
          1. re: thew

            Why is that an oversight? It's clearly a NOLA-influenced menu, but it isn't necessearily trying to be a NOLA's Greatest Hits kinda place.

          2. I stopped in to Cheeky yesterday for a half & half po'boy. I thought the oyster side was far superior - the shrimp simply don't have much taste. The bread was great, and I do love a fully dressed sandwich, with lettuce, tomato, pickles and two sauces (mayonnaise & hot). But I thought it was a little on the small side for $8.50. I can't help but compare the sandwich here to the monster banh mi's available just a few blocks away, for about half the price.

            6 Replies
            1. re: small h

              well those are very different sandwiches (a banh mi vs a po boy), so i think that is sort of apples to oranges. there is a large price differential, but one is using oysters which are far more expensive than any of the ingredients in a banh mi

              glad you liked it though!

              1. re: Lau

                I didn't make that price comparison without doing a little research. Before I posted, I took a cruise through Banh Mi Saigon's menu - a shrimp salad sandwich is $5.50. (And don't get me started on why Asian restaurants charge so much less for shrimp dishes than Mexican restaurants or, apparently, New Orleans-type restuarants. This is a mystery I am still trying to solve.)

                Anyway, I couldn't even finish the Cheeky po'boy, small as it was, because I have a low tolerance for deep-fried stuff. I always think I can eat a lot of it, and I am always wrong.

                1. re: small h

                  small h: Stereotypically, cheap Asian restaurants underpay their workers. Unfortunately, what seems like a great deal for the customer may come off the backs of the workers. I say, leave a big tip!

                  1. re: parkslopemama

                    Stereotypically, so do cheap Mexican restaurants. So how come a shrimp dish at my local cheap Chinese costs less than one at my local cheap Mexican? That was my original query. Still don't have a satisfactory answer.

                    1. re: small h

                      The shrimp in a Chinese restaurant is probably cheaper because there are so many Chinese markets (referring to Chinatown) where the wholesale and retail prices are much lower.

                      I have friends who make a weekly trip to Chinatown to buy their fish at lower prices than at trendier shops uptown.

                      1. re: Beau711

                        I considered that, as it happens, but there's nothing to prevent the owner of any restaurant from buying seafood in Chinatown. I shop there myself. And AquaBest on Grand, the market I go to most often, clearly caters to the restaurant trade. Where do you suppose my hypothetical Mexican restaurant buys its fish? I doubt it's Citarella or Lobster Place.

                        Aqua Best
                        276 Grand St, New York, NY 10002