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Dueling chicken sandwiches

At Cook's Scratch Kitchen in Northport, the

At Cook's Scratch Kitchen in Northport, the "chicken sandwich" is actually a Vietnamese banh mi. (June 21, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday Erica Marcus

Here's the thing about food: Even the best chefs at the best restaurants can't be consistent every minute of every day. This becomes especially clear when, after we review a restaurant based upon two visits, readers go there and find things otherwise. A chicken sandwich at Cook’s Scratch Kitchen in Northport is a telling example:

FROM JOAN REMINICK:

It was back in May that I first tasted the chicken sandwich. Chef Stacy McDevitt’s take on a Vietnamese banh mi simply blew me away. When a reader wrote to me that her chicken sandwich featured bread that had gone dry, I was a bit taken aback. A few days later, passing by the cafe, I got one for myself and, lo and behold, as delicious as the filling was — moist roast chicken, house-pickled vegetables, sriracha aioli and fresh herbs — the bread was dry and stuffy. A small shocker.

A call to the restaurant, which got a three-star rating, elicited surprise and then an apology from co-owner Dave Cook, as well as a vow to stay on top of such details.

FROM ERICA MARCUS:

I also recently had the chicken sandwich in question.  What can I say, mine (pictured above) was perfect. The bread was a classic banh mi roll, with a soft crumb and delicate crust. The chicken was moist and the vegetable garnish was a delicious balance of sweet and spicy.

It's been years that I've been complaining about the dearth of banh mi sandwiches on Long Island, and I was thrilled to find such a good one at Cook's. Now if only they'd make a classic one with roast pork and pate.

Cook’s Scratch Kitchen & Bakery, 1014 Fort Salonga Rd., Northport, 631-651-5480, cooksscratchkitchenny.com.

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