Fried zucchini, pickled jalapenos and barbecue chips tucked under a blanket of fontina and smashed between two thick crusty slices of Caputo Bakery-fresh bread. I fell in love with No. 7 Subs on a warm September day in McCarren Park, when a friend celebrated her birthday and the end of summer with a picnic lunch. The sub was complimented perfectly with another Greenpoint/North Williamsburg staple: that lethal combination of tequila and substances unknown concealed in Styrofoam and identified as a Turkey’s Nest “margarita”. Be it the potency of the pickled jalapenos or the near-incoherence courtesy of my beverage, No. 7 Subs was immediately crowned the best sandwich I’d ever eaten.
No.7 subs is the offshoot of Chef Tyler Kord’s Fort Greene-based, No. 7, an eclectic, old-world style bistro serving up Asian and Eastern-European inspired comfort food a few steps from the Lafayette Avenue subway stop. With dishes from the double-decker broccoli tacos, crammed with peanuts and feta, to the double cheeseburger, topped with Swiss cheese or velveeta, it’s not a stretch to see wherein the inspiration for these savory sandwiches lies.
After two years of helming No. 7, Kord was sufficiently swayed by the trendy Ace Hotel to swap Brooklyn for Manhattan, and the flagship No. 7 subs was opened. Bolstered by the curiosity and ensuing popularity of combinations like the roast beef and roasted tomato mayo, or the broccoli sub paired with lychee muchim and ricotta salata, the outpost was an immediate success, with lines extending into Madison Square Park. Reviews such as The New York Times declared that Kord, “has made the submarine a thing of juiciness, beauty and exoticism.” With such a popular product, it only made sense to ride the wave of success.
Since its 2010 debut, No. 7 has expanded to a shop/bar incarnation on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, and most recently as a kiosk in Todd English’s high-profile redesign of the famed Plaza Hotel Food Court. Kord keeps diners coming back for more by keeping tried and true favorites like the zucchini parm to anchor the menu, and rotating in a selection of new subs featuring seasonal combinations and achieving different tastes. The best approach is to give every sandwich a try, as an immediate favorite might later hit the flavor graveyard. RIP General Tso’s tofu.
While it may be faster, and cheaper, to just go wait in line for a five-dollar foot long with two sad slices of American cheese, No. 7 Subs is an indulgence that I feel all North Brooklyn residents need to be a part of. Capturing the Korean and Eastern-European inspired comfort food of the original outpost and packaging it just thick enough to render a clean bite through to be impossible, No.7 Subs does comfort food to a tee. Equal opportunists in their savory sandwiches, No. 7 subs ensures that carnivores, vegetarians and vegans can all sink into a sandwich-induced food coma together. And a restaurant that supports my annoying food choices, while remaining as delicious sober or intoxicated, is one that I can get behind.
No. 7 Subs is located on 931 Manhattan Avenue, between Java Street and Kent Street. Open 7 days a week from 11 am to 11 pm, and offering delivery within Greenpoint and North Williamsburg with a $12 minimum order.
Dani Frank of My Social List