Bahn Mi Saigon Bakery
138 Mott St, New York, NY, USA
Bahn Mi Saigon Bakery New York Reviews
Best Vietnamese Sandwiches in New York (or perhaps the world)!!! Dec 31, 2008
Today was an exciting day for me, cause my brother Bay decided that he should take me to Chinatown to have the best Vietnamese Sandwiches. I didnt know at the time how "the best" it was, but now having eaten them, i'd say that they are the best ive had thus far....ever. By the time we emerged from the New York metro, the snow was blasting horizonally, clawing at my face and creeping into my layers. As much as i had tried to be prepared for the onslaught, it was pretty apparent that i hadnt planned well enough...and he assured me that it was simply a "light" day in New York. Yeah, i'll take it at that and leave the rest for the locals...they can have it.
The street was still lively with activity. Scales & tentacles lay in their bins in front of fish markets in the crispy air. The sidewalks were covered in salts, and stores not yet open were just dusting their own storefronts with handfuls of crystaline chunks. The occasional "Viking" would go by with a mini skirt & scarf...i will never understand...sigh hahahaha. I admire what one must do for fashion. Any exposed skin on a day like this would probably cause me to start peeling frostbitten flesh. After meandering in & out of the catacomb of streets in Chinatown, we finally stop in front of a small jewelry store. Silly me to ask my brother if this was the place...hahaha. We burst in through the doors to find a nice calm & warm jewelry store, with a small metal counter top in the very back of the store. The ailes were jsut wide enough for 1.5 people to pass each other, or two small asian ladies ^^ so we slide our way to the back and began to peel away our layers enough to talk.
There were already 4 or 5 people sitting on small benches against the wall, munching away at their sandwiches. Everyone kinda minds their own business i suppose. Once i got my sandwich i stopped caring who or what was going on around me haha!! The menu was simple, written on a piece of pink card stock. I didnt really listen to what Bay had to say when he started asking me a few questions...all i remember saying to him was, "yes" to every question ^^ alls i knew was that i was about to eat good. And that was a comforting thought considering i was wearing 3 layers, 2 gloves, a scarf, a beanie & 2 socks in my boots and i was still freezing. A few minutes went by & we paid for our sandwichies, which came in a plastic bag, with each sandwich in its own paper bag...waste of materials if you ask me, but i suppose some may want to take them somewhere else. There were no shortage of people walking in and ordering 10-15 sandwiches at a time.
By the time i had my sandwich out a few benches had cleared, so we grabbed the ones farthest from the door and commensed chowing down. As i sat & bit & chewed & bit & chewed again i looked the place up on Yelp, just to see wad people has already said. Funny enough most of the reviews were either 1) Ugh i hated the place, the bread & meat were too stiff or 2) this is the place the God of Sandwiches landed from heaven!! As i sat and stuffed my face, the realization of something burning in the back of my throat dawned on me & caught me by a bit of surprise. As i ate more and more into the crunchy, savory sandwich, the burn started to intensify. Now its not actually a bad burn, just that i wasnt expecting it, so i say to my brother, "Man, my sandwich is spicy, and this is only a normal sandwich. I wonder what a spicy sandwich would taste like." After laughing at me he assured me that i really WAS eating a spicy sandwich, as i had unknowingly aggreed to it when he was asking me when we ordered...guess i should pay attention at menu time hahaha!!
So, the spicy sandwich is really good & a lot of fun too ^^ Bay went to to tell me that usually one side of the sandwich is spicier than the other, so i musta eaten the spicy side already cause the other side tasted just as spicy. The bread is a bit stiff, but its something that was a plus for me, cause i like to work for my sandwich. Fluffy untoasted deli bread just doesnt do it for me, especially when you have mayo or mustard on the bread. It gets super soggy quick. The stiffer sandwich rolls help to soak up some of the dampness from the veggies, and the dryness of the pork chunks were really savory, gives you something to chew on, so its not soft and moist meat. Bay assured me that the sandwich will get soggy if you lave it for an hour, so having coarser bread & meat is somewhat an advantage, that is if you dont instantly inhale your food hahaha!!
My friends arrived late, after i had already eaten both my nubs (rolls are nice cause you get two "butts" ^^). So as they sat & ate their sandwiches, which looked really good, i debated whether i should get another sandwich. On the itinery was the Donut Plant next, but i said what the hell, im not going to be in New York often & i wont get another chance to try out the rest of the menu, so i sprang for a Sardine Sandwich. Ok, ok, now why know anyone spring for a Sardne Sandwich?! In my own defense, alls i could say was, "i was curious. And curiousity got the better of me hahaha!!!" Sad to say i was half expecting to be pleasantly surprised, but it turned out to be the exact same sandwich, except with ordinary sardines, which generally isnt bad, just not in a roll sandwich. The texture is much too soft in contrast to the bread & fixins & the two clam halves of the roll slide around too much to make eating it as enjoyable. You can thank me later for "taking one for the team" hahaha, even though people advised me against it!!
Part of the Christmas & New Years in the Big Apple & DC travel blog
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