Best Thing on Sliced Bread

JoeDough makes sandwiches with zest

JoeDough's sandwiches are wack.

And we adore them.

The menu at this grab-and-go East Village shop (sister to JoeDoe) reads like the experiments of a hyperactive middle schooler who got loose in a well-stocked kitchen.

The After School Special (all sandwiches are $10) layers thick slices of fried bologna, potato chips and mustard onto white bread. It evokes a potent nostalgia even if bologna didn't figure in your childhood.

Another sandwich had us fervently rediscovering a love for lettuce. Yes, lettuce.

Here, the wedge salad is reanimated when a great big pile of lacy iceberg leaves are shoved with pickled green beans into two pieces of bread and drizzled with Maytag Blue Cheese dressing. Those in the know can ask for an off-the-menu topping of bacon bits.

Lately, the kitchen has been cooking chili as a repository for the scrappy ends of brisket, pork shoulder, speck and tongue that don't make it into the sandwiches. Mixed with meaty pinto beans and topped with cotija, it's a winter salve served in a "Greek" paper coffee cup.

The approaching drumbeats of the Super Bowl mean city-specific three- and six-foot sandwiches will also be on offer.

And with new later hours until 2 a.m. on weekends, we say bring on the wackiness.

JoeDough Sandwich Shop, 135 First Ave. (between St. Marks Pl. and Ninth St.); 212-780-9222 or chefjoedough.com