Today’s sandwich is the “Chicken Cutlet Parmesan” from Anthony’s Italian Kitchen, in the Old Port. It tops breaded chicken tenders with marinara and cheese on a hero roll.
Location: 151 Middle Street
Notes: The classic “Chicken Parm Hero,” that is, a hero sandwich with deep-fried breaded chicken chunks, red sauce, and pounds of mozzarella cheese on a toasted roll, doesn’t seem to have gained much of a foothold in Portland. You rarely see it in sandwich shops (and even if you do, it’s often a little peculiar), leaving anyone who has a Chicken Parm itch to scratch little choice but to try a pizza place, that also happens to sell hot sandwiches. It was this particular craving that led us to Anthony’s Italian Kitchen, in the Old Port in Portland.
Anthony’s is the kind of old-school pizza place that occupies a big, warm space in our heart. You won’t find any “General Tso’s Polynesian Buffalo Wing Pizza,” and you won’t find a pizza with mashed potatoes on it. Instead, Anthony’s focuses on the basics: red-sauce Italian served with a side of big ol’ meatballs, where you can just as easily grab a bucket of spaghetti to go, with a quick cheese slice to enjoy while you wait in their checkerboard dining room. Or, in today’s case, a classic Chicken Parm Hero with all the trimmings.
Anthony’s Chicken Parmesan sandwich is a 8″ monster, served on a soft Piantedosi Italian roll. I was happy to see that the bread didn’t crisp up too much in the oven, staying pleasingly soft and chewy. The sandwich was jammed with a few moderatly-seasoned chunks of chicken breast, and covered in a ton of marinara sauce that if anything, may have leaned a little on the sweet side. The promised “three-cheese blend” seemed an awful lot like plain mozzarella, but I can’t say for certain. When I was unwrapping the sandwich, the paper wrapping took the top layer of cheese with it. I would have liked to see a little more cheese, or a wax paper layer that would help keep the cheese on the sandwich.
These are minor complaints, however. For around seven bucks, it’s hard to find a Chicken Parmesan sandwich that matches more closely with my idea of what this sandwich should be. The next time the urge strikes for a hot sandwich, whether chicken, eggplant, or meatball, Anthony’s is, I am certain, where I’ll end up.