Sandwich of the Week: Buffalo Chicken Salad Sandwich at Donna Bell's in New York City
When my girlfriend mentioned that Pauley Perrette, who plays the cool, brilliant goth chic Abby Sciuto on NCIS, owns a bakery in Hell's Kitchen, I told her we had to check it out. Donna Bell’s, which was opened in April of 2011 by Perrette and her old friends Darren Greenblatt and Matthew Sandusky, is named after Perrette's mother and is a tribute to her, serving food based on recipes she remembers from her Alabama-based childhood.
Donna Bell's is small — there's no sit-down service, and in fact no place to sit down — so the best course of action is to order something and take it out to the courtyard behind Worldwide Plaza, where there is ample public seating. While the place is first and foremost home to a plethora of sweets (muffins, brownies, cookies, cake slices, and more), there are also a handful of savory items — a few casseroles and soups, some flavored biscuits (one with bacon, blue cheese, and parsley!), and most of all, great sandwiches. My sandwich of choice, I quickly decided, was Donna Bell's Buffalo chicken salad, with a lot of chicken, blue cheese, celery, and mild wing sauce shoveled into a huge "French baguette."
Come hungry, because this is a serious sandwich, not for dainty eaters. It's also definitely a messy one: The blue cheese mixes with the sauce and drips down your arm. The mix of large chunks of chicken, crunchy celery, and slightly spicy sauce translates into a perfect lunchtime interpretation of the wings-night experience.
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