No. 17: Antipasto Sandwich at A Market

italianhoagie.JPG
Dave Lieberman
You'll have noticed we're changing who writes this feature on a day-by-day basis: this is how you know we're getting close to the end of our countdown. Make sure to pick up a copy of our Best of OC 2011 when it hits the newsstands October 14!


Someone at A Restaurant and A Market finally got their search engine optimization hat on, because the once un-Googleable Newport Beach restaurant and deli now turn up in searches. This is a good thing, because they make the best Italian sub--one of the Holy Grails of transplants from New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York--in Orange County. Call it a hoagie, call it a hero, call it a sub, doesn't matter: there's only one place to get it, and A Market calls it an antipasto sandwich.

You'd think it'd be easy, right? It's just spicy ham, salami and cheese on bread with Italian dressing, right? Wrong! Nobody makes the bread correctly (with or without sesame seeds), three-quarters of the places selling an Italian sub insist on ruining it with mayonnaise, and the rest have decided to tart it up with non-canonical additions such as olive salad.

A Market's baguettes aren't at all like real French baguettes--too light, soft and airy--but they're absolutely perfect for Italian subs. The cold cuts, salami and capicola, are good quality, and while smoked mozzarella isn't traditional (it's supposed to be provolone) it's not distracting. Roasted peppers, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and red wine vinaigrette finish it.

This is what that garbage at Jersey Mike's (a chain that actually started down the Jersey Shore and then went right into "da crappuh" after they expanded) is supposed to taste like. Bravo, A Market.

A Market and Restaurant, 3334 Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach; (949) 650-6505; arestaurantnb.com.

Click here for our 100 faves from 2010!

The list so far this time around:

No. 18: Pâté Chaud at Au Cœur de Paris
No. 19: The O.C. Burger at Burger Parlor
No. 20: Chicken Pie at La Palma Chicken Pie Shop
No. 21: Mac and Cheese at Ecco
No. 22: Almond Croissant at Layer Cake Bakery
No. 23: ABC Burger at Peter's Gourmade Grill
No. 24: Tripas Tacos at Alebrijes Grill
No. 25: Happy Hour Pho at Pho Thanh Lich
No. 26: Longsilog at Manila Groove
No. 27: Paletas from Nevería Flor de México
No. 28: Any Bánh Mì at Bánh Mì Cho Cu
No. 29: Cheeseburger at TK Burgers
No. 30: Peanut Butter and Jealousy Burger at Slater's 50/50
No. 31: Beef Noodle Soup at Twin Dragon at the Block
No. 32: Bun Cha Hanoi at Pho Quang Trung
No. 33: Blintzes at Moscow Deli
No. 34: White Pizza at La Rocco's
No. 35: #4 at Pieology
No. 36: Veggie Special with Chicken at Chicken Dijon
No. 37: Foie Gras Nigiri at AnQi
No. 38: Short Rib Grilled Cheese at A Restaurant
No. 39: Garlic Artichoke Croissant at Blackmarket Bakery
No. 40: Nuco Mia at New Duc Huong
No. 41: Mantu at Chili Chutney
No. 42: Dipped Italian Beef Sandwich at Portillo's
No. 43: Spicy Wontons at A & J Restaurant
No. 44: Saffron Rice Pudding at Wholesome Choice
No. 45: House Special Pork with Sauteed Kimchi at Koba Tofu Grill
No. 46: Seared Artichokes with Lemon Aioli at Il Garage
No. 47: Green Curry With Pork at Papaya Thai Bistro
No. 48: Mongolian Hot Pot at The Red Pot
No. 49: Beef Rolls at 101 Noodle Express
No. 50: Tlacoyo at El Borrego Sagrado
No. 51: Hard-Shelled Taco at Avanti Cafe
No. 52: Special-Events Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Old Vine Cafe
No. 53: A Big Ol' Plate of Rice With Must-o-Musir at Wholesome Choice
No. 54: Pork Souvlaki at Kentro's Greek Cuisine
No. 55: Toum at Sasoon Chicken
No. 56: Bacon Hash Dog at Berkeley Dog
No. 57: Blueberry Donut at M & M Donuts
No. 58: Tempura Fried Poached Egg at Break of Dawn
No. 59: Mulitas from Tacos Y Mulitas Ruben Truck
No. 60: Pho Ga from Pho Quang Trung
No. 61: Panuchos from Conde Cakes
No. 62: Sandwich and Egg Cream from Benjie's
No. 63: Margherita from TJ's Woodfire Pizza
No. 64: Macaroon at Disneyland
No. 65: The Sputnik at Rick's Atomic Cafe
No. 66: Corn Dog from Disney California Adventure's Corn Dog Palace
No. 67: Bacon Fried Rice at The Loft Hawaiian
No. 68: Charcuterie and Cheese at SideDoor
No. 69: Burger (With Duck Confit) at Watermarc
No. 70: Korokke Pan at Cream Pan
No. 71: Chorizo and Quail Egg on Toast at Sol del Sur
No. 72: Fried Brussels Sprouts at 320 Main
No. 73: G-Style Fries at G Burger
No. 74: Fried Cuttlefish at Benley
No. 75: Roti at Bangok Taste
No. 76: Wet Burrito at 301 Cafe
No. 77: Pork Curry at Miyabi-Tei
No. 78: Bánh Tieu at Bánh Mì So 1
No. 79: Any Sandwich at the Crosby
No. 80: Fish Pho at Pho Vinh Ky II
No. 81: Quesadilla Chilanga at Alebrije's Grill
No. 83: Nem Nuong Cuon at Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
No. 84: Wild Boar Balinese Sausage at Valhalla Table
No. 85: Comida Corrida at Taquería La Raza
No. 86: Breakfast Burrito at Troy's Drive-In
No. 87: Mandoo at L&M Liquor and Deli
No. 88: Chicago Dog at Chicago Harv's
No. 89: Sweet Potato Tater Tots at Pee Wee's Famous
No. 90: Kaya-Stuffed French Toast at Chomp Chomp
No. 91: Egg Breakfast at Rick's Atomic Kitchen
No. 92: Sticky Rice With Chicken at Quan Hy
No. 93: Beef Koobideh at Hen House Grill
No. 94: $5 Fish Bento at Bentoss
No. 95: Milanesa Sandwich at Piaggio's Gourmet on Wheels
No. 96: Samurai Burrito at Wafu of Japan
No. 97: Carnitas Gordita at Bodega R Ranch Market
No. 98: Spam Musubi at k'ya Street Fare
No. 99: Tortilla Andorra at Anepalco's
No. 100: Lemongrass Chicken, Extra Spicy at Vietnam's Pearl

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My Voice Nation Help
3 comments
JB
JB

Looks respectable in the photo, if not a bit thin and cafe-ish (and unlike the slightly more meatier ones you'd get in NY, or at Claro's, which, I vaguely recall, makes a good Italian hero). 

I do want provolone in my Italian 'number 11s', but then again, A Market calls this an "antipasto" sandwich, so the mozzarella is fine. 

And putting mayonnaise on an Italian hero should be a third-degree felony.  It reminds me of how when you order a tuna salad at Subway, they ask you, "What kind of cheese would you like?"

MikeHu
MikeHu

Haven't been there, but will hopefully get a chance one of these days. Sounds great. Meanwhile, I'm a big fan of Cortina's "Cortina's Special" in Anaheim. 

Mr. Rosewater
Mr. Rosewater

That's 'cause eating at Subway should be a capital crime.

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