Banh Mi @ Saigon Bakery

June 12, 2008

Apologies for my posting impotence, and thanks to vanillahead for keeping up with his share.

Two weeks ago, my friend from work and I ventured into the most delicious part of NYC, Chinatown. We walked quickly past the fruit vendors and fish mongers on the streets with our sights set on one goal: Saigon Bakery’s banh mi sandwich. NYC food enthusiasts proclaim this hole-in-the-wall to have the greatest banh mi sandwich in the city. I agree, and the fact that this sandwich shop shares it’s space with a jewelry store silently mocks large establishments.

To those who have not yet tasted banh mi, it consists of a French baguette dressed with mayo and paté and is filled with pickled carrots, daikon, cilantro and a selection of meat (hot peppers and sauce can also be requested). I’ve only tried the roast pork, and am hesitant to stray to other meats. There’s no point in fixing what’s not broken. The sandwich is served cold, and the sweet pickled veggies and meat perfectly contrast the savory bread with mayo and paté. And…it cost me $3.75. Those who are vegetarians need not to worry, Saigon Bakery has a vegetarian banh mi appropriately named Buddha’s Delight.

Now each time I’m in Chinatown, I find myself debating between chinese and banh mi. Both are relatively low in price, but I’ve definitely been favoring my newly discovered sandwich. My record has been five banh mi meals in one week. I’m beginning to think the Saigon Bakery workers recognize my face, which is fine with me.

Saigon Bakery (138 Mott Street)