Thursday, April 1, 2010
A Gem In All Accounts
A close girlfriend of mine is Asian and definitely has an appreciation for fresh, local vegetables and ingredients. Ling frequents Chinatown. She’s either shopping for wonderful products: fresh fish, veggies like bok choy, Chinese broccoli, long green beans or whatever looks fresh that day or heading to markets for peking duck, roasted chicken, or roast pork. This also means that Ling knows where some of the best deals and phenomenal cheap eats are in Chinatown.
After telling her of my recent visit to Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches (after they were aired on an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate on Food Network) Ling told me about a Vietemanese sandwich shop on Mott Street that her and her sister have been hooked on. The catch? The shop is located in the back of a jewelry shop. I decided to yelp Banh Mi Saigon Bakery and was surprised of how many countless reviews supported Ling's account. I was extremely excited to go! When Ling and I made it to Mott Street my excitement was put to a halt! The store was closed for minor renovations. What a disappointment! Fortunately Di Palo's (my favorite Italian specialty shop) is across the street so all was not lost. Yesterday luck was on my side! Ling and I met up for our weekly dosage of lunch and catch up. Unlike other times where we debate over "what's for lunch?" I knew exactly where I wanted to eat—Banh Mi Saigon Bakery!!!
I indulged in a Banh Mi Ga (#2 on their menu) the Chicken sandwich! As with most classic Vietnamese sandwiches it's served on a crunchy, yet tenderly moist baguette, with toppings like cilantro, jalapeño, daikon and carrots, cucumber nestled on top of the moist, tender, fried pieces of chicken. If chicken doesn’t interest you, other options like pork, sardine, pate, meatball, Buddhist and beef stew are available. My chicken sandwich was incredible, satisfying and perfectly balanced—sweet, tangy, and a tad spicy! Don't get me wrong, if you are by 2nd Street and Ave A&B Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches is delicious, but if you’re in the heart of Chinatown (138-01 Mott Street to be exact!) definitely make a stop in, you will not be disappointed. Banh Mi Saigon Bakery is a precious gem for sure.
Posted by Chef Raquel Rivera-Pablo