Any sandwich whose name begins with an ‘X,’ especially a sandwich that is Brazilian, deserves attention. That goes double when that X is followed by ‘tudo,’ which means ‘everything’ in Portuguese. Many of Brazil’s snack bars serve a version of the X-Tudo, which is a cheeseburger with many toppings. While every American city has its own tower burger, finding one with South American flare is more difficult. One place where you can find the X-Tudo is New York Pão de Queijo in Astoria in Queens, N.Y.
The ‘X’ comes from the word, ‘cheeseburger.’ In Portuguese, ‘ch’ sounds like ‘sh,’ and when pronounced by most Brazilians that ends up sounding like ‘x.’ New York Pão de Queijo serves nine “X-” sandwiches, including versions topped with chicken, sausage, and Catupiry (Brazilian cream cheese).
To go all out Brazilian-style, try the X-Tudo ($6.25). It is topped with ham, mozzarella, bacon, sausage, fried egg, milho (corn), lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and batata palha. The latter are fried potato sticks, which also find their way onto hot dogs in Brazil. It’s another potato-as-topping-on-sandwich to add to the others that we have been noticing lately.
But how does it taste? Pão de Queijo’s burgers will not set the world on fire — while the patty is still moist, it is a bit overcooked compared to New York’s most well-regarded quick-service joints. The combination of cooked corn and potato sticks, while perhaps initially puzzling, combines with kitchen-sink enthusiasm. Overall, this is a good sandwich, with a lot of different flavors and textures, whose combination of sausage, bacon, and ham will give salt-lovers a little thrill. A pão de queijo while you wait, the X-Tudo washed down with a Guarana Antarctica, followed by a bowl of açai, and you will be ready to be rolled out happy, without needing much more to eat for the rest of the day.