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Banh Mi in New York City

It's summertime and it is hot outside. You know the story. You don't want to eat something heavy that will end up in your stomach soaking up the acids, so what is tasty, lightweight, and satisfying at the same time? The perfect summer food just might be bánh mì, the Vietnamese sandwich.

These sandwiches are a culinary marriage of French technique, Chinese ingredients, and Vietnamese ingenuity; the remnants of failed colonialism and influence on Vietnam and its proud people.

It is an explosion of flavors combining just enough meat, sweet carrots, icy cucumbers, fresh cilantro, and hot chilies. The key also is having the flavors contrast and play off each other. Another key ingredient is the slightly toasted, and buttered baguettine (small baguette). Although an ordinary French baguette can be used, traditional Vietnamese baguettes have some rice flour mixed in to give the bread a lighter texture, and crispier crust. Here in NYC, however, nearly all places use some sort of italian, or french style bread.

For something light and summery, these sandwiches are perfect. Add a cool drink and you are set.

The places listed here are small shops specializing only on sandwiches even though you may be able to get a sandwich from a Vietnamese restaurant with a full menu.

by RK Chin, 08 July 2001

See also vietnamese restaurants

more photos below..

Ba Xuyen, 4222 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY.
(click to enlarge)       photo by rk chin
Ba Xuyen in Sunset Park, Bklyn.

Num Pang, 21 E 12th St, New York, NY.
(click to enlarge)       photo by rk chin
Num Pang in Union Square.

Paris Sandwich, 113 Mott St, New York, NY.
(click to enlarge)       photo by rk chin
Paris Sandwich in Chinatown.

- Banh Mi in NYC -
Saigon Banh Mi Bakery, 138 Mott St., NY.
(click to enlarge)       photo by rk chin
Saigon Banh Mi in Chinatown.
Baoguette, 61 Lexington Ave, NY.
(click to enlarge)       photo by rk chin
Baoguette in Midtown
Hanco's, 85 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY.
(click to enlarge)       photo by rk chin
Hanco's in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
Nicky's, 150 E. 2nd St., NY.
(click to enlarge)       photo by rk chin
Nicky's in the East Village, April 2009.

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