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A young buck in the land of the sandwich • Brooklyn Paper

A young buck in the land of the sandwich

Chef Rick Hauchman shows off the catfish hero at the Van Horn sandwich shop on Court Street. He’s from North Carolina, you know.
Community Newspaper Group / Julie Rosenberg

There’s a new sandwich in town.

Jacob Van Horn, a new Brooklynite by way of North Carolina, has opened Van Horn Sandwich Shop on Court Street in Cobble Hill, jumping into a borough whose heartburned history includes giant Italian heroes at John’s in Bensonhurst, sublime panelle specials at Ferdinando’s Focacceria in Carroll Gardens, juicy and crispy Cubans at Pedro’s in DUMBO, and the smoked meat stunners at Mile End in Boerum Hill.

Van Horn knew what he was getting into.

“I know what I’m up against and I know the history,” said the sandwich maestro, who said he has perfected his recipes in the two years since he left an architecture job at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

“I had to open my shop because I just could not get the fried chicken sandwich that I wanted.”

That sandwich ($12) is a new American classic: A long, deeply Southern fried crescent of juicy breast meat, topped with slaw and lightly brined pickles, and piled onto a roll from Caputo’s bakery down the block.

The menu also includes a North Carolina-style vinegary pulled pork sandwich ($10) and a fried catfish hero ($11).

Sandwiches are the main attraction at Van Horn, but only a fool would pass up the mac and cheese ($6), which is named after an old family friend from back home, but bears no relation to something that came out of a Piggly Wiggly (the wide lasagna noodles and three cheeses are but two clues).

“Our approach is going to be, ‘Simple, simple, simple,’” said Van Horn, who owns the joint with chef Rick Hauchman. “We want people to come to Cobble Hill and say, ‘You gotta eat one of these sandwiches.’ ”

Van Horn [231 Court St. between Warren and Baltic streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 596-9707]. Closed Mondays.

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