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Sandwich-Envy on Main Street

A sinfully good sandwich shop has opened on Main Street, right next to Lake Effect Diner. The eatery is called Sandwich-Envy for a good reason. Owner Jon Marantz tells the tale right on his menu, for all to read. He says that he came across the definition of “Sandwich-envy” in an urban dictionary and was this inspired to open a sandwich shop selling the best sandwiches in the land. He wanted to create menu items that would make others envy the sandwiches served at his shop. And I think that he’s done it. Earlier today I ordered the grilled strip steak sandwich on a rustic Costanzo hoagie roll. I order the sandwich with the works – sautéed sweet and hot peppers, melted provolone cheese, mushrooms and onions. 

Half of a strip steak sandwich

I could see Jon cooking up the steak in the kitchen. A few minutes later he came out and delivered my meal. I was excited to see that the roll was toasted nicely – there should always be just a bit of char for taste. The strip steak was served thick and juicy, without a single bit of gristle or fat. It was perfectly pink in the middle and seasoned extremely well. This is not one of those steak-um type subs, rather this is something that you might expect to find at an upscale burger joint or pub. The sandwich was served with an A-1 type of sauce (on the side). I was extremely pleased with the culinary creation – the simplicity, the size, the way that it was cooked, and the overall care that went into the preparation The only thing that I would have preferred was a plate, over the environmentally unfriendly Styrofoam container that it was served in.

After I finished my meal, Jon came over and asked how everything was. It old him that I was super happy with everything, even though I didn’t mention my issue with the container. It turns out that Jon moved to Buffalo, from Toronto, 20 years ago for a job. Although he is now “retired”, he’s not just sitting back and relaxing. Talking to him, it was hard to tell what he loved more – his sandwiches or Buffalo. For not being from here, I found it cool that he bleeds Buffalo. The prints on the wall are all of Buffalo. He’s devoted to this city. “I could have gone anywhere after I left my job,” he told me. “I have dual citizenship, and zero family in Buffalo. I just love this city and wanted to stay.”

After a spell, Jon offered up a suggestion. “Why don’t you try the vanilla ice cream waffle sandwich?” he suggested. “Normally if two people come in and order a couple of sandwiches, I give them one to share for free. When I was young, living in Toronto, this dessert was very popular at a place that I frequented. I knew that I wanted to recreate this treat at this restaurant. I offer a choice of four dipping sauces – caramel, strawberry, chocolate and maple (for dunking). The most popular is the combo of strawberry and chocolate. The ice cream is cold enough to last a while without melting, even though it’s between two warm waffles – you eat it like a sandwich. The sauces are for dunking, so that it’s not so messy. The kids in the neighborhood love it – they keep coming back with their families.”

I still can’t believe that I wolfed down the ice cream waffle sandwich… it was a purely courteous endeavor. So much for my diet. But I could not resist something that sounded so unusual and delicious. Plus, I felt good about the entire meal, not only because it was so yummy, but because Jon’s passion for his food is so contagious. I can see why he thinks that his menu items are so envious. 

Apparently Jon also serves up a mean house-made meatball sub with a side of marinara for dunking. Then there’s the house-made, slow cooked bacon-wrapped meatloaf (oh my!), with sautéed onions and a side of beef gravy for dunking (Joe likes to dunk). There’s also a grilled veggie sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich (American or Italian style), a breaded eggplant sub, breaded pork cutlet (American or Italian Style), house-made soup, garden salad and tater tots. It’s not an expansive menu, which is fine because there’s still plenty to choose from.

Sandwich-Envy is clean, inviting, and there is plenty of seating. There’s also a patio. I enjoyed sitting on a stool in the window and watching all of the University at Buffalo students walking around. There was plenty of activity, even though I still can’t believe that The City dropped the ball by putting in center road medians instead of bike lanes. Ugh. Fortunately a solid sandwich with a properly toasted bun, and a crazy ice cream concoction was enough for me to almost forget about such a massive City blunder. But that won’t stop me from coming back again (not by bike) to check try another one of Jon’s envious sandwiches sometime in the near future.

Sandwich-Envy | 3171 Main Street | Buffalo, New York, NY 14214 | (716) 436-4491 | Facebook

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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