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Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich
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Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich

Pasting these pictures into their little HTML brackets, I am wondering why I haven’t written up Banh Mi Saigon yet … $3.25 for a sandwich, and it’s good. I bought two drinks there that cost more than the sandwich last time. And the seaweed salad there? Gorgeous.

Someone just wrote me on Twitter and asked how many posts I do a week, and right now I’m doing a post a day. This might slow down, it might speed up from time to time. Anyway, then he tried to convince me that three posts a week might be better.

Doesn’t he know that I’m unemployed? WTF else am I going to do? Cutting down on my posting really isn’t an option unless I want to feel like a total skidbag. Of course, I do a lot more than just post links to my website. I’m doing cool stuff, eating at far-off places, meeting influential people, talking with just about everyone … I’m a busy guy.

Damn! It’s Monday morning and I have forty minutes to finish this post. Still technically unemployed, but now I have something to do during the day, and I’m pumped. Interning over at Morris + King. Such a busy weekend that I didn’t realize all I wrote about was how busy I was … I wanted to finish this post on Thursday!

Thirty minutes! So this place just got an addition – they’re breaking into the bubble tea market with a shop they just opened on the East side of the building connected with a doorway near the register. I like the ordering system here and I wish I took a picture of my receipt, but it says very clearly in Vietnamese and English what you’ve purchased and what your number is. It was a nice looking receipt, that’s all – not a standard line item system. I don’t know how to describe it, but it looked pretty enough to mention.

I got the Fresh Spring Rolls:

The one thing I always want to know is why they put so much damn vermicelli in the rolls:

OK, so that angle doesn’t really show how much vermicelli is in this particular roll, but I don’t know if that’s what I was thinking when I took this shot. Gee, how much vermicelli can I profile here? Seriously, though; how much vermicelli to they put in the rolls in Vietnam? More? Less? How much more/less? Does it depend on the area of Vietnam you’re in, or do they even serve them there? Maybe they’re like the Chinese Egg Rolls; no one in China has even heard of an egg roll – strictly an American Born Chinese side. I’m going to go with that assumption for now, besides, I don’t think these were showcased on “No Reservations: Vietnam.”

The spring rolls were a bit fresher than your average spring roll, but by themselves, they are not spring roll standouts. What made these babies pop was The Sauce:

I’m calling it The Sauce because I have no idea what’s in it. You can see that it’s peanut based, and it tastes kind of like a peanut satay with a hint of fish sauce. The carrots and radish(?) you see there add to the texture but the flavors of the vegetables are overpowered by the rest of it. Thoughts of what other dishes might be good with this sauce flew through my head, and everything I came up with was fried. Can you blame me?

The Banh Mi was my favorite part of the meal, as usual. I love this presentation, with the rubber band around the butcher paper. Classy. This place is two streets away from my subway stop, and if it’s open at 8AM, I will be planning some lunches ahead of time very soon.

You can see in the picture below that I got the traditional Banh Mi. I’ve talked about the actual pieces to the banh mi before, but I just wanted to go into detail today about what head cheese was. Head cheese scares off a lot of people if you explain what it is. It’s a lot like scrapple.

Head CheeseFrom Wikipedia:

Head cheese is not a cheese but a meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig. Meat jellies are made of the head of the animal, simmered to produce stock. When cooled, the stock congeals because of the natural gelatin found in the skull.

ScrappleFrom Wikipedia:

Scraps of meat left over from butchering, not used or sold elsewhere, were made into scrapple to avoid waste. Scrapple is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices. The mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf.

I think the head cheese sounds worse, but I’ve eaten both, and will eat both again. They both remind me of the Lips and Ears skit from Kids in the Hall:

This was before sketch comedy characters got their own movies. I would have loved to see The Kids take Gavin to the big screen in their heyday, but I’m still stoked for the new miniseries. I digress.

Cutaway shot:

OOOH! You’s a sexy bitch! Look at that roast pork in there. I think some of my favorite sandwiches are hot meat on meat action – Roast Pork and Head Cheese Banh Mi, The Cuban – I think more chefs should try two preparation methods of one animal together in more dishes.

And I sometimes spell Banh Mi “bahn mi” Maybe God is telling me to do a German version of the sandwich.

OOOOH! I GOT IT – I’m making a phone call right now. Don’t steal my idea!

Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich
369 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 219-8341

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