January 9, 2005

Sunset Park Vietnamese

Filed under: Food, Not Tech — Chris @ 8:27 pm

We’ve only just discovered the pleasures of Sunset Park. We’ve been following the consensus on Chowhound, so none of this will come as news to the culinarily tuned-in…

We’ve become obsessed with the Banh Mi at Ba Xuyen (4222 8th Ave near 43rd St). These are Vietnamese sandwiches: a combination of Asian meats, carrots and other fresh crunchy vegetables (think summer roll here), fresh serrano peppers, cilantro, and a sweet, garlicy aioli, served on a baguette (made with rice flour, I think, so it’s lighter and crispier than a French baguette). You will not believe how tasty these things are or how cheap ($3-4). The meats available are kind of mysterious: pork roll (Asian, not Italian), bbq pork, pate, meat balls (again, not Italian; think Thai fish balls with pork), and shredded pork. My only complaint is that I haven’t found a meat I’m entirely happy with. (Luckily, the pleasures of the sandwich are centered on the vegetables.) A flight of fancy: the ultimate Americanized Banh Mi might be made with barbecue pulled pork (aka smoked pork butt). Maybe somebody out there is doing this already? [UPDATE: I have now tried nearly everything on the menu and the grilled pork is by far the best meat on offer. It is tender and succulent and not-at-all frightening to this American’s palate, as some of the Asian cold cuts can be. I’m still fantasizing about some nice smoked butt, but grilled pork will do in the interim.]

Today, we had lunch at Gia Lam (4810 8th Ave near 48th St). Hilleary had the Pho with “eye of round” and spring rolls. I was hedging my bets and order a combination plate with a pork chop, shredded pork, and an egg cake. The pork chop was delicious. It was a thin slice of pork with a sweet and salty glaze similar to the flavor of a Chinese spare rib. It was served atop a pile of white rice and garnished with scallions. The egg cake was mushroomy and oniony, somewhere between a quiche and a meatloaf. Next time, I will get the pork chop by itself (only $3, as I recall).


1 Comment

  1. […] eaten one; he’s tired of hearing about them). Well, we’ve been covering bánh mì from the very beginning on this blog, since before the dawn of bánh mì history, and we think there are still a few […]

    Pingback by The Last Word on Bánh Mì « Procrastiblog — June 14, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

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