Yes, a sandwich named for the Albany lawmaker was added to the menu at the 15th Avenue restaurant. The tagline for the new hero (or hoagie or grinder or wedge or sub, whatever you like to call it) is “Nicole Malliotakis: a hero that is a winner on both side of the bridge,” which refers to the fact that she represents both Staten Island and Brooklyn.
The sammich is also a nod (kind of, we guess) to her Cuban heritage, as it is a take on the classic Cubano. It features signature smoked mozzarella, roast pork, genoa salami, Virginia ham, Swiss cheese, homemade basil mix, deli mustard and sliced pickles. Close enough!
At first we here at Pol Position were quite impressed...a menu item named for the assemblywoman! So we visited Lioni’s on the internet to see if anyone else has the distinction of having a sandwich named after them, and literally everyone has a sandwich named after them! We are talking well over 100 different people.
There’s everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio (fried eggplant, roast beef, Lioni fresh mozzarella, white American cheese, bruschetta, sun-dried tomatoes, stuffed peppers and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar) to Leonardo Di Vinci [sic] (bresoula, arugula, olive oil, shaved Reggiano, pepper and oregano).
And while Penn State took down its statue of Joe Paterno, his sandwich (grilled chicken, fried eggplant, honey mustard and Lioni fresh mozzarella) remains on the menu at Lioni’s. And while Jason Giambi’s baseball career might have been tainted by steroid use, he’s still a hero (prosciutto di Parma, pepper ham, salami, Swiss cheese, olive oil and oregano) at Lioni’s.
Although, that said, there aren’t many elected officials past or present on the list, so we guess in that sense Malliotakis is unique.
In fact, the only one we could find is Marty Golden (chicken cutlet, Lioni fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers and balsamic vinegar), the former state senator from south Brooklyn.
Perhaps being a Republican is a prerequisite for getting the Lioni’s endorsement.