“It’s kind of like a banh mi,” the waitress said of the roast lamb sandwich at M. Wells Dinette. As I scanned the menu my eyes darted between the lamb sandwich ($12) and the spaghetti sandwich ($12). Lamb and Vietnamese sandwiches sit pretty high in my culinary pantheon, but ultimately I went with the spaghetti sandwich. It bears pointing out this kooky sandwich predates, that other noodle-based mashup, the ramen burger. The carb on carb powerhouse that places a spaghetti patty inside a roll has been much in the news of late. I hadn’t had one since M. Wells Diner closed in the summer of 2011. As an Italian-American I grew up with a different kind of spaghetti patty. Every Christmas our neighbor Nina would present the discus-sized, leaden gutbomb called macaroni pie with great pride. We’d all feign thanks, as we soldiered through a slice.
Thankfully the Dinette’s spaghetti sandwich remains nothing like Nina’s creation. The spaghetti patty is crunchy on the outside and moist within. It is a gloriously messy sandwich served on a roll that’s been slathered with garlic butter. Topped with Caesar salad I like to think of it is a common three-course meal I ate growing up: macaroni and gravy, garlic bread, and salad.
M. Wells Dinette, MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, 718- 786-1800