Banh Mi Saigon


My first job after law school was working as a clerk at the Immigration Court in New York City.  One of the best things about that job was its close proximity to Chinatown.  My fellow clerks and I would eat lunch there constantly, but we seemed to frequent the same places and order the same familiar things.  Lucky for us, one judge who worked at the Court grew up in Chinatown and would occasionally take us out to lunch.  We ate at so many restaurants that highlighted the difference in regional Chinese cooking.  I also had my first dim sum lunch (amazing!)  One day, he offered to take us on a tour of Chinatown after work to show us his favorite haunts.  It was an amazing tour: he showed where to buy the freshest fish, cheapest vegetables, and introduced me to the Vietnamese sandwich at the Banh Mi Saigon.  I would never have found this place on my own.  At the time it was situated in the back of a gemstone jewelry store on Mott Street.   It is now on Grand Street near Little Italy, and although the shop is now cleaner, larger and has seating, it still maintains that aura of mystery.  Why are they selling these delicious little devils in the back of a jewelry store?  Why are there lines around the corner for mediocre Italian food while this place seems to be undiscovered by tourists?  All I know for sure is that the pork banh mi sandwich, which marries a French baguette with Vietnamese style barbecued pork topped with fresh cilantro, pickled daikon and carrots, might be the best sandwich in town.


This entry was posted in Chinatown and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s