#58: Mackerel With Leeks, Num Pang


23 down. 78 to go.

I leave work as close to 6:30 as I possibly can because I know I’m going to be cutting this one close. I’m headed to a bar near Grand Central to meet my wife and some of her work colleagues for some celebratory drinks of our recent marriage. I’m so excited…for the sandwich I’m conquering afterwards! It’s not going be easy, though. It’s going to take some careful planning and time management on my part. I’m TAing a class at Pratt Institute at 8pm on 14th street and 7th avenue. Even though the teacher is generally late, I still feel like I need to get there on time. But I need to eat something beforehand. Right?

I’m in the bar 7pm. Hi, hello, and I’ll have a Goose Island IPA. I make small talk with her colleagues, show off my new bling, finish my beer, and am out of the door 20 minutes later. It’s not even 7:30 yet and I’m on the 4 train headed downtown. I feel a little like Jack Bauer tracking down terrorists – the clock is ticking.

Union Square is a mad house as usual. I’m running people over like my names Maurice Jones-Drew. I did some research before I left for the night, so I know my options. I’m headed to either Chic-fil-A or Num Pang. And Chic-fil-A is no where to be seen. Mackerel it is.

I have a solid ten minutes to eat up, and eat up I did. I’m not really a big fish eater – if you asked me ten years ago if I’d be eating a Mackerel sandwich right now, I’d have thought you were crazy. If you also asked me if I’d be eating 101 sandwiches from a New York Magazine article, I would also think you’re nuts. It’s funny how things turn out.

Anyway, the Mackerel Báhn Mí was a excellent. The big piece of fish was prepared perfectly and wasn’t too fishy like Mackerel can sometimes be. All of the ingredients were fresh. The chili mayo has some really nice heat, but wasn’t too overwhelming. The bread was toasted and oily to perfection. I’m also on a big sustainability fish kick these days, and Mackerel happens to be a very sustainable fish. They are a good choice because they mature quickly and produce high numbers of offspring. So there’s that.

Like Johnny Depp, I made it to class in the nick of time.

Num Pang | 21 E. 12th Street and University


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