For some reason, I'd been wondering about Banh Mi for days. In the 25 years I spent in Asia and 2 1/2 years spent in New York, I'd never tasted a Vietnamese sandwich. The first time I heard about Banh Mi was from my mom, who had tried it on a trip to Ho Chi Minh and raved about it. Last week I tried a Vietnamese Num Pang and became more glaring to me that I really need to get my chompers into a Banh Mi. Today I finally got my chance.
A lot of people would that Boi To Go's Banh Mi is not really authentic, is too pricey, and so on. But hey, we're far away from Chinatown so I have to judge this by midtown standards. That said, I have to say that I was very pleased with my first Banh Mi experience. I ordered the BBQ Pork Banh Mi ($7.50) and thoroughly enjoyed it. The barbequed pork is slightly sweet, and tastes similar to the roast pork you can get in Chinatown. I loved the taste of pate smeared on the toasted baguette, and the extra creaminess lent by the avocado slices. I loved the pleasantly sweet taste and the crunchiness of the pickled daikon and carrot. The lettuce and cilantro nicely rounded out this jampacked sandwich.
Large as this sandwich is, I wiped it out. Tips on eating your Banh Mi:
- Try to keep in in the wrapper as the contents tend to spill out of the baguette
- Eat your sandwich over a covered surface. Line your desk with paper towels or napkins
- Do not eat over just your office clothes because you will end up with Pollock-esque splatters everywhere. There's some juice that trickles off the sandwich that could land on your pants, and pieces of meat, daikon, carrots and avocado will fall out no matter what you do. So exercise care.
This is going to be the first of many Banh Mi's I will enjoy, I'm sure. I desperately need to know what the $3.95 Banh Mi's in Chinatown taste like!
Where: Boi To Go is located at 800 2nd Avenue between 42nd & 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017