Eating a spaghetti sandwich in an alley

alleycarte spaghetti sandwich

By Steve Noisseau

I woke up this past Wednesday, and as I usually do (and I'm sure many of you do as well), I grabbed my phone and checked for any notifications. I'm very active on Facebook, and my wife who was up before me, shared Steve Barnes' post to my timeline about Peck's Arcade launching a food cart they're calling the Alleycarte.

I'm a huge fan of Peck's, and particularly head chef Nick Ruscitto. I enjoyed his food when he was the chef at The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark, and I followed him over to Peck's when he became the chef early last year. I've dined at Peck's three times since they've opened, and I've become convinced it's one of the best restaurants in the area. Needless to say, I was excited about the food cart and decided I'd head over for lunch.

There were two items on the opening day menu, one of which was a spaghetti sandwich.

A spaghetti sandwich?

The sandwich

The sandwich was made up of grilled bread, tomato-sauced spaghetti, and mozzarella cheese with basil. This is a Sunday dinner twisted into sandwich form. Along with the sandwich I was served a piece of pickled cauliflower, a single olive, and a chocolate chip cookie. It's a lot of food for only $6.

The bread was cut about 3/4-of-an-inch thick, grilled till dark brown and crunchy with the added goodness of basil and cheese sprinkled on both sides. The spaghetti -- to my surprise -- was cold. I was expecting it to be warm. But it worked, and the cold pasta created a nice temperature contrast to the warm grilled bread and melted mozz. There was pleasant textural contrast between the bread, cheese, and the pasta as well. It was delicious.

As you'd expect of bread, pasta, and cheese, it's heavy, but taking an occasional bite of the acidic cauliflower and olive helped to lighten it up and cleanse my palate a bit.

The sandwich was a good size and filling, but I still had that cookie staring at me.

The cookie

alleycarte chocolate chip cookie

The biggest surprise was the cookie. After eating what amounts to a pasta dinner between two slices of bread, the cookie really hit the spot. A slightly crunchy exterior, and a gooey center loaded with chocolate. I loved it.

I'm not a huge chocolate chip cookie fan, but if all chocolate chip cookies were as good as this one, I'd be a convert.

What's next

All the food was wrapped up nicely, making transport back to the office or home painless, and I can see the Alleycarte being a great option to grab a quick lunch for those that work and live in Troy. Ruscitto and his crew plan to change the menu often. And I expect going forward, they'll come up with many creative, interesting, and delicious eats. (On Wednesday they were also offering a roasted broccoli sandwich with ricotta and fontina.) I'm especially pleased with how reasonable the prices are.

The Alleycarte has a Twitter feed, where they're announcing pop-ups and menus. The next pop-up is this Saturday, March 12 from 11 am to 2 pm. The menu: tacos.

Steve is an IT professional, avid home cook, and food geek. His blog is I like food, which is also on Facebook.

Find It

Alleycarte (outside Peck's Arcade)
217 Broadway
Troy, NY 12180


Tacos are tempting.

Tacos are a girls best friend! I hope they make their own tortillas.

My weird ex from Oklahoma used to make spaghetti sandwiches like this...

Well said and well written Steve. Nice job!

My dad worked on a road crew for a summer as a young man. At lunch time one of the guys would get out a loaf of bread and two cans of spaghetti. He'd tear the loaf in half, pull out the inside, and dump a can of spaghetti into each half. That was lunch.

As I understand it, a spaghetti sandwich is an Italian-American, 'at home' kind of thing. One might make it with leftovers straight out of the fridge, but it's not something you would serve to guests or regularly see on a menu. Similar to how some might enjoy cold pizza for breakfast at home, but probably would not see it on a breakfast menu at a restaurant or serve to brunch guests.

Sort of reminds me of a once popular, old-time New England sandwich -- the baked bean sandwich. Nothing beats carb on carb. That goes for pierogies filled with mashed potatoes.

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