Sometimes a sandwich is more than just a sandwich.
Here’s an excellent example and my new favorite thing: The Ad-Rock Pang. First of all, it’s a collaboration between the Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock and the terrific sandwich spot Num Pang. Second of all, it features Mile End Deli’s awesome smoked meat along with the classic bánh mi trimmings and chile-spiked Russian dressing. Third of all, proceeds of the limited edition sandwich go to New York City-based dog shelters, which is awesome.
How did all these amazing things come together? It’s a long story that starts with Num Pang co-owner Ben Daitz sneaking out to a Run DMC/Beastie Boys concert when he was 12, and includes a chance encounter at a dog run several years later (both Daitz and his Num Pang co-owner Ratha Caupoly are dog lovers as is Ad-Rock). The next thing you know, Daitz and Ad-Rock were brainstorming sandwiches: “I wanted to do a spaghetti and meatball sandwich,” says Ad-Rock. “Actually just spaghetti sandwich, that’s what I ate in high school; meatballs were too expensive.” The spaghetti sandwich conversation lasted “about 15 seconds,” recalls Ad-Rock.
The sandwich that did emerge is a mind-blowing version of pastrami on rye. “Adam and I are both from New York, where all roads leads to pastrami,” says Daitz. “So my buddy Noah [Bernamoff] from Mile End got us some of his smoked meat—dare I call it pastrami—and we went from there. We morphed our chile mayo into chile Russian dressing with lots of homemade chopped pickles and Worcestershire. No rye bread—we’re using our toasted semolina bread. And we added some dill, to take it back to the old country. ” Along with the sandwich comes a cream soda and a bag of Wise potato chips. “Wise chips are straight up New York,” says Ad-Rock. “They’re also the official potato chip of the NY Mets.”
I urge everyone to run to Num Pang to check out the awesome Ad-Rock Pang. Besides paying homage to the Beastie Boys (heroes), you’ll be supporting local animal shelters. The sandwiches will be available from March 17–April 17 at all Num Pang locations around NYC—they’ll sell just 30 per day per store. And after that, me personally, I would love to see what that team would do with a spaghetti sandwich.