The Trenchermen

We eat other people’s food.

Posts Tagged ‘NYMag

NYMag Sandwich List #38: Pork ‘Burger,’ Xi’an Famous Foods

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I’ve abandoned my plan to systematically eat and describe all of the sandwiches on the NYMag 101 sandwiches list, but I continue to use the list as a wellspring of culinary discovery.  (Someone was kind enough to create a Google Map of the 101 sandwich locations.)  With that in mind, eager to break from my PBJ lunch routine, my office-mate and I wandered into the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown — East Broadway, under the Manhattan Bridge — for a taste of Shanxi cuisine at Xi’an Famous Foods.  To connect the dots for our readers, it’s a chain of small restaurants that started in Flushing, in the Golden Mall (yes, we’ve eaten there before and blogged and vlogged about it), and has now expanded to Chinatown and the East Village.  The highlight of the restaurant’s offering is the “Liang Pi” Cold Noodles.  The sandwich featured in the NYTimes is the Lamb “Burger,” which I found to be loaded with far too much cumin.  But NYMag loves the Pork “Burger,” so I gave it a shot.

NYMag says this sandwich, which is made of pulled pork stuffed into a bing-like bun, could “rival any Carolina barbecue.”  I disagree.  Although the smoky, vinegar sauce is nice and less sweet than most Chinese barbecue sauces I’ve tasted and the bun is warm with a nice crunch, the sandwich is altogether unremarkable and familiar.  It is incredibly greasy and the pork is stewed into a textureless mush.  At least the cumin-loaded Lamb “Burger” offers an unfamiliar and exciting flavor combination.

As for the Carolina comparison: forget it.  The best barbecue I ever encountered was in Holly Hill, South Carolina, at a place called Sweatman’s, and it is an act of exceptional generosity even to mention Xi’an Famous Food’s Pork “Burger” in the same paragraph.  To say this “Burger” is a “rival” of a place like Sweatman’s is a cruel joke.

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Written by trencherman

October 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Restaurants

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NYMag Sandwich List #99: Sesame Pancake With Beef, Vanessa’s Dumplings

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And the final post of the day.  Returning once again to the NYMag sandwich list.  On my way home from the gym, famished from my first post-Toronto run, it occurred to me that Vanessa’s Dumplings was only a few steps away from the 3rd Avenue L-train station.  So I checked it out.

I am a big fan of the filled sesame pancake, having discovered it late one night at my local late night spot, M Noodle Shop (which is, by the way, awesome, open until 6 a.m., and very salty).  M Noodle has a sandwich sesame pancake stuffed with pickled vegetables that just knocks me down every time I eat it.  Something about the combination of the grease from the pancake, the sweet from the sesame, and sour from the pickled vegetables just hits all the spots.  Anyway, back to Vanessa’s…

The sandwich is, as NYMag suggests, a kind of variation on the banh mi.  The roast beef, like the cuts that come in pho in cheap vietnamese restaurants, was very thinly-sliced and marbled with chewy, overcooked fat.  But the meat was tasty and the grease and saltiness of the pancake was cut effectively by the cool, crisp vegetables (pickled cucumbers, carrots, cilantro) stuffed into the sandwich.  I actually preferred this to the last banh mi I had (see post from earlier today).  This is a good option, and super cheap (though you have to wonder how this made it onto the NYMag list and other stellar sandwiches like the meatloaf at Rye or the Sage Egg and Cheese at Five Leaves or any of the sandwiches at Hamilton Deli didn’t make it.  But that’s another conversation for another day).

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Written by trencherman

June 23, 2010 at 9:41 pm

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

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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.

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Written by trencherman

June 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

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Two Saltie Sandwiches

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Took two trips to Saltie this weekend.  Their menu includes sandwiches, pastries, ice cream, and fresh teas.

Scuttlebutt yesterday. Captain’s Daughter this morning.

I had hibuscus tea with the Scuttlebutt.  It was nice, bright, and a little tannic.  The sandwich — like many of their sandwiches — is served on oily (I mean that in a good way), crispy, salty foccaccia.  The menu says that Scuttlebutt has h.b. eggs, cauliflower, pickles, feta, black olives, capers and pepper aioli.  I dont recall there actually being cauliflower, pickles, or black olives, but I basically wolfed it down.  Of note, the egg was just barely hard-boiled so it was really creamy and it had a perfect complement in the aioli.  The sandwich also had shaved scallions and radishes, fresh mint, and fresh dill.

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Written by jayrhu

June 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm

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NYMag Sandwich List #80: Torta Ahogada, La Superior

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Just this week, New York Magazine published its list of “The 101 Best Sandwiches in New York.”  Now, seeing as we love lists, food, and New York — the trifecta — this list kind of hit the sweet spot.  I’m sure we’re not alone in our desire to eat our way through the whole list, but we’re gonna go for it and document it.  Inasmuch as we have eaten very few of the sandwiches described, you might say a whole world has opened up before us.

Anyway, let the eating commence!  (And let The Trenchermen blog awaken from its slumber!).  This is the first of what will hopefully be (at least) 101 posts based on this list.  Ambitious and awesome, I know.

Last night, I went to La Superior in Williamsburg and ordered the Torta Ahogada, sandwich #80 on the NYMag list. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by trencherman

June 4, 2010 at 11:10 am

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