48 down. 53 to go.
Dude, Chinatown is crazy. Only in Chinatown can you walk into a jewelry store, and walk out with a kick ass sandwich. Amazing.
The left side of Banh Mi Saigon contains glass cabinets stocked with bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, statues, and other assorted kitschy gifts. The right side has stools and a narrow counter for people to munch on their banh mi sandwich. Straight to the back is where you stand on line to order and wait for them to eventually call your number. As I looked around the room, I was happy to see a diverse mix of faces all drawn together for the same reason: to taste a delicious sandwich.
The sandwich that made the list was a chicken (let’s hope) banh mi sandwich. The ingredients placed inside a long, crispy, mayo covered, white roll include diced carrots, sliced daikon, huge chunks of cucumber, green and jalapeño peppers, giant stalks of cilantro and of course, tender cubes of chicken bathed in a sweet garlic sauce. I also put on a couple of dabs of Siracha to spice things up a bit. The combination yields an incredibly fresh, healthy, colorful and most importantly, delicious sandwich.
I came to the realization that banh mi sandwiches are amazing for two reasons. First off, as mentioned earlier, there is a great meat-to-vegetable ratio, which is not the case with many sandwiches. Most sandwiches are piled high with meat with only a slice of tomato or leaf of lettuce. This sandwich contains a garden worth of vegetables adding both texture and flavor.
Second, I don’t know why but a majority of banh mi sandwiches are huge and ridiculously cheap. This sandwich was $4.25. Why can’t all sandwiches cost this much? Don’t tell me it’s the quality of ingredients, because most places use the same crappy ingredients. I’m disappointed that I don’t get more banh mi’s. I feel like either they aren’t widely available or I just don’t know where to go. My new goal is to seek out more Vietnamese sandwich places near where I live and work. Actually, scratch that. That goal will have to wait – I’ve got a lot of other sandwiches to eat.
Enjoy your three day weekend!
Banh Mi Saigon | 198 Grand Street between Mott & Mulberry Street