The Trenchermen

We eat other people’s food.

NYMag Sandwich List #49: Chicken Bánh Mì, Bánh Mì Saigon

with 2 comments

Since it’s been a few weeks and since my brain is basically like a blog archive, I figured I might as well release a few from the “archives” today.  This is the first one, representing yet another step on the road to the laudable goal of eating every sandwich on NYMag’s top 101 list.  On June 8, T and I stepped out for lunch at Bánh Mì Saigon, a cheap Vietnamese bakery located in the back of a jewelry store in Chinatown.  Seems like it should be some kind of hidden secret, except that the awning for the store displays a giant sandwich and there’s a line of people waiting inside for sandwiches.

Anyway, we decided to triple-down, ordering the hyped Chicken Bánh Mì as well as the more traditional pork and pâté varieties.  As much as I love this particular variety of sandwich, New York City’s obsession and saturation with banh mi options has perhaps spoiled me.  So either I’m jaded or this sandwich wasn’t too special, because I was not impressed.  Number 49, really?  Hardly.  The bread was decent, but dry, as if it had been prepared the night before.  The crust scraped my gums unpleasantly, and there was little relief in the form of a spongy interior.  That bread was dry!  The chicken was good, but, as the review on NYMag notes, it was hard to differentiate between this chicken and the well-cooked pork that is more traditional.

So, here are a few pics of the chicken sandwich.

The pâté version of the sandwich was the worst, in my opinion, though T seemed to have a better response.  It looked and smelled like Fancy Feast (that is, canned cat food).  Which reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” where Charlie and Dee trade lives and Charlie shows Dee how to eat cat food and drink beer to pass out, but I digress. . . .  I guess it just reveals my antipathy toward liver, but whatever.  Here it is:

Finally, pork.  What NYMag refers to as “the pig-packed No. 1.”  It was good.  Satisfying.  But I was also pretty full by the time I got around to eating it, so I can’t really say that my assessment even approaches objective and unbiased.  Here you go.


Written by trencherman

June 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Posted in Media, Restaurants

Tagged with , , , , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. I thought the pork was worst of the three. The meat is too much diced and deep fried to smithereens, lacking the succulence and chew I’m looking for. The chicken actually came closest to what I want out of a pork banh mi.


    June 23, 2010 at 10:42 pm

  2. Fair. I don’t think even the pork version from banh mi saigon approached the quality of the better banh mi(s) I’ve had elsewhere. Both the chicken and the pork were cooked into unrecognizable chunks of sweet fried red meat.


    June 24, 2010 at 8:57 am

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