The $29 Ham And Cheese Sandwich Is Taking The Internet On A Ride

It's almost unheard of to pay nearly $30 for a simple sandwich, yet one shop in Manhattan appears to be charging just that. A picture of a $29 ham and cheese sandwich garnered attention after being posted on Reddit by user mauceri. Reactions have been negative. Someone slammed the sandwich as criminally expensive, and one person joked that adding an egg would boost the price to $107. What is it about this entrée that's compelling people to spend so much? The absence of the usual expensive ingredients (gold leaf, truffles, caviar, Dom Perignon, etc.) suggests something mysterious. Maybe the price comes from the "health bread" it's served on.

You can find this sandwich at E.A.T., which is owned by Eli Zabar, in Manhattan. Zabar explained to Gothamist that it is made with a freshly baked seven-grain health loaf and topped with French mustard, glazed ham, and "imported Swiss cheese." It's apparently a pretty big hit with customers, and according to the owner, it's not technically a single $29 sandwich.

As it turns out, the pre-made product is two sandwiches sold in one package. An individual ham-and-cheese is actually sold for $16, so one could argue that E.A.T. is knocking three bucks off of the $32 someone would pay for two separately packaged sandwiches. But not everyone would agree with that characterization, and many remain skeptical about the arm-and-a-leg price point. So, what's the deal with what some people deem an outrageously priced menu item?

Is it worth it?

With its glitz and glam, the Big Apple is home to all manner of fancy foods, but ham and cheese sandwiches aren't usually featured in fine dining. Do people think it's actually worth $29 or possibly an overpriced gimmick designed to take advantage of the wealthy's bottomless wallets? The reports have come in, and some members of the public are not impressed.

More than one reviewer has said that the sandwich is fine but not worth the money. A writer at GrubStreet who personally tried the sandwich reported that it was "nothing special" and mentioned that the whole package could easily be considered "two halves" instead of two whole sandwiches. Other people have echoed these sentiments, stating "It doesn't look like two sandwiches there at all." Moreover, the GrubStreet writer pointed out "the deadening chill of the fridge," which affected the entire eating experience. One review went so far as to say it was "reminiscent of an airport sandwich" (via NY Post).

Commenters on the articles and the Reddit post have shown their disdain, suggesting that Eli Zabar's affluent clientele is the root of these sky-high prices. But to be fair, the high prices may not solely be the restaurant's doing. Inflation has been a big reason behind the climbing prices of NY's beloved cheap foods. Whether that's enough to defend this $29 meal is up to those willing to pay for it.