I’ll have the napalm panini, please. Oh, sorry, that’ Village 26. Perhaps I’ll take the John McCain kebab. What, they don’t have that either? Perhaps you’re as confused as I am about the name of this joint–perhaps not. I’m known to be a bit dense, but for some reason I was under the impression this place was a Vietnamese restaurant. Turns out to be completely unfounded (as well as cementing the fact that I am indeed stupid). Village 38 turns out to be one of those oversized bodega salad bar places that makes everything from make-your-own salads to imitation Cosi baked sandwiches. Some question the cleanliness of the place, but I’ve never run across anything unsavory. I’ve gotten a couple salads and a few sandwiches, including the aforementioned copycat concoctions. They have somehow simulated Cosi’s flatbread somewhat (although it’s not even close to as tasty), but they actually stick your sandwich in the brick oven after making it. The issue is that the guy creating them has about as much interest in getting you out of there in a timely fashion as he does in not sweating in the lettuce. If you do have the patience, though, they are worth the wait. I know I’m tempting salmonella fate every time I walk in this place, but I don’t learn lessons until I’m faced with a grueling day on the bowl. [MF]
575 8th Ave.