The Underground Artichoke Parm That's Become A Brooklyn Staple

sliced hero sandwich
sliced hero sandwich - K.C. Tinari Photography

When reporter Katie Honan from The City discovered an artichoke parmesan sandwich in Brooklyn, she spent a year learning more about the sandwich and wrote an article about the hero for Bon Appétit. Her writing unleashed a flurry of business, and additional reporters and foodies flocked to the deli to experience the sandwich for themselves.

Located in Brooklyn's Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Mama Louisa's Hero Shoppe is making sandwiches that customers will stand in line for. Edga Luinavictoria, the deli's owner, once sold 400 orders of the artichoke parm sandwich in a day. What exactly goes into the sandwich remains a mystery, however, and the family-run establishment has tight-lipped about the recipe since the 1950s.

Served on Italian bread and slathered in sauce, the artichoke parm sandwich had been on the menu for years before it picked up a devoted following of fans. While marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese are commonly served between Italian bread, roasted artichoke hearts and scrambled eggs are not as easily found on menus. The result is a tangy, creamy flavor combination framed by pillowy-soft bread that is toasted to perfection. "We can't wait to go back," one Instagram user gushed. To WNYC, Honan surmised that scrambled eggs give the artichoke a chewy texture and help build the creamy, satisfying sandwich, offering a lighter lunch option for those not quite ready to stomach a meatier dish.

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A Sandwich To Travel For

storefront of Mama Louisa's
storefront of Mama Louisa's - K.C. Tinari Photography

For $9, the large hero delivers when it comes to serving up a generous amount of artichoke hearts, scrambled eggs, and thinly sliced mozzarella cheese, and the family-owned deli provides outdoor seating for those wanting to savor their sandwiches. Even if you can't finish your sandwich on the spot, it might taste even better when you get home. One reviewer pointed out that after an 80-mile drive, the cold sandwich was still tasty: "The artichokes had a little crunch to them. The cheese and eggs coated everything almost as awesome as the sauce. Which was unlike any tomato sauce I can think of off the top of my head. It's thick but not overpowering. But my favorite part. The bread. Holy moly. The chew is literally perfect. It reminded me of ciabatta."

Should you need a boost of caffeine before leaving Mama Louisa's, the next-door coffee shop (owned by the same family) pours lattes and espressos if you still have space, and like other bodegas, Mama Louisa's Hero Shoppe sells an assortment of snacks and toys, with signs behind the counter listing other menu options. If artichoke parm isn't your fancy, dive into an Italian combo sandwich with prosciutto, capicola, soppressata, and provolone topped with roasted red peppers; order a juicy turkey sandwich; or pick up homemade lasagna to serve for tonight's dinner.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.