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Looking for something yummy in the general vicinity of the East Village where we can pick up a late afternoon meal to eat on our 6:00 flight from LaGuardia...

We've always been partial to a tasty "souvenir" plane meal we can enjoy as a parting memory of the city we're leaving behind. This time, we're looking for something we can pick up around 3:30-4:00 on a Saturday afternoon, within the general vicinity of the EV (or a little further out so long as it can last the extra time), that will be little worse for the wear after a couple of hours of transit and which can be enjoyed without refrigeration or reheating.

I suppose that some kind of a sandwich might be the easiest option (banh mi? deli? Italian sandwich?) but we're open to anything. The biggest challenge seems to be that many spots are closed mid-afternoon - a few ideas I had were Zabb Elee, Sao Mai, Parisi Bakery, DeFonte's, Torrisi -help? Thanks.

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  1. Some ideas:
    Katz's Deli
    Banh Mi Zon
    Sunny and Annie's Deli
    Luke's Lobster?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      I'll 4th Katz's ( you can't go wrong there, if you're like me the pastrami will repeat on you and be memorable for your whole trip)
      Porchetta is a possible idea,especially the pork sandwich,,i don't know if the potatoes and pork will be good after it cools down.
      Luke's I second and get a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips there
      Walk a few blocks west to Num Peng and get any sandwich,,they will hold up fine.. I take their sandwiches to the movies quite often, especially the coconut shrimp.
      Further South in Tribeca,,,Takahachi bakery has some delicious sandwiches, salads, and plates.ready to go.

    2. Momofuku Ssam Bar. You can get the duck over rice, pork buns, potatoes in black bean sauce, broccoli salad, pork sausage and rice cakes... all travel surprisingly well. Just make sure to slather a ton of the ginger-scallion sauce on the duck over rice before you leave.

      Good sandwiches at JoeDough.

      Second Katz's Deli - or, another old-school option, bagels & lox from Russ & Daughters.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sgordon

        Note to the OP: Momofuku Ssam closes for lunch at 3:30pm and I imagine the kitchen might close 15 minutes before that.

        Pork buns actually do not travel well IMO -- the mantou bread dries out or gets soggy quickly.

        I love the pork sausage and rice cakes, but they're really oily, and might leak.

        1. re: kathryn

          At milk bar they specifically recommend against getting the buns to go because they claim they don't travel well. Their crazy filled croissants (pastrami and rye, thanksgiving) are delicious though.

          Pok pok wing might be more fish saucy than yummy after a few hours, and the papaya salad could be good, but could be a soggy mess.

          Count me among the katz's and Russ and daughter's voters.

      2. go to the Union Square Green Market: purchase: wholegrain flat round rye bread from the Finnish bread people...some cheese...some sunflower greens...some smoked pheasant sausage...some fruit...i did this before my flight to London a few weeks ago and i was the happiest camper on the plane...

        (and as much as love some of the Asian restaurants mentioned above, those foods will not keep as well as the picnic stuff from the Green Market...duck, pork laab, meat buns, etc will be both greasy and messy after sitting in a bag for 2 or 3 hrs pre-takeoff)...

        1. My vote is for DeFontes and Katz's. Everyone on the plane will be jealous!!

            1. re: alkonost

              We love B&H but Blintzes to go? Oy vey?

              1. re: Motosport

                They have a good whitefish sandwich :) But yes, a lot of other things on the menu aren't finger friendly.

                  1. re: Motosport

                    Nope, it's got a lot of other items despite the name. It's really old school, their cold borscht is pretty good too. There's lots of vegetarian options there.

                    1. re: Motosport

                      It is dairy only. FIsh can be eaten with dairy or with meat. I love B&H's whitefish. Not crazy about the borscht, because the vegetable pieces are too big.

                      1. re: small h

                        I never understood kosher deli rules, but as long as the food is good! Yeah the whitefish is great and I love their thick babka bread! Did you have the hot borscht or the cold? They're prepared and made differently, the cold doesn't have huge chunks of veggie in it, just diced/shredded beet (small pieces).

                        1. re: alkonost

                          Hot. That must have been the problem. But the bigger problem is that I take one look at that giant sandwich and say to myself, "Self, you can't possibly eat all this. Just have half and take the rest home." And the next thing I know, the sandwich is gone.

                          According to my Source for All Yiddish Knowledge (she answers to Mindy), fish does not count as an animal because you don't have to kill it. You just take it out of the water, and it dies. Therefore, it isn't alive the way mammals and birds are alive.

                          1. re: small h

                            There is a mermaid joke in there somewhere. My mind is racing.

                            1. re: small h

                              ive never heard the "dies on its own" explanation before. my (decidedly non-definitive) understanding is that the Torah prohibits the consumption of meat (beef) and milk together. This was extended to chicken out of caution because it could accidentally be confused with beef (?). Apparently this confusion was deemed to be less likely to occur with fish.

                              looking for consistency or rationality in these distinctions is a fruitless endeavor.

                              1. re: tex.s.toast

                                The specific line in the Torah translates to something akin to "Thou shalt not boil a kid (as in baby goat) in its mother's milk" - and since who knows where your meat and your milk came from, for all you know your milk might have happened to come from the kid's mother, so best to avoid combining them at all. It was a Talmudic scholar who later interpreted it as extending to calves and lamb as well, then all mammals - even cross-mixing (i.e. it's not okay to put sheep's milk cheese on a hamburger, even though there's no possible way it came from the mother of the cow...) - then eventually decided to include birds as well, for reasons completely unknown, since you can't milk a bird.

                                1. re: tex.s.toast

                                  That makes as much sense as anything else, I guess. Maybe the Fish Exemption (and that is totally going to be the name of my band) was reverse-engineered specifically to allow for bagels with cream cheese & lox.

                      2. re: Motosport

                        I've taken blintz leftovers home from Sarge's, but not through airport security. They pack them up in massive amounts of foil. I wonder how LGA security would react to foil-wrapped leftovers. ;-)

                        1. re: prima

                          having brought foil wrapped burritos from SF's mission to nearly every place i traveled i can safely say that foil is not a problem with airport security.