Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Things Are Looking Up

I've moaned before about the dearth of decent food options in Lower Manhattan.  And in the same breath I've mentioned the little bright spots on the landscape that seem to be popping up.  Well here's another one for you:  the Banh Mi food truck on the southwest corner of John Street and Water Street.

For those unfamiliar, Banh Mi are basically Vietnamese subs.  They are traditionally served on a relatively soft baguette and are filled with some combination of meats, cucumbers, pickled carrots, mayonnaise and spice, generally in the form of chile sauce.  For years I was a devout customer of Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches, partly because it is delicious and partly because it was across the street from my favorite yoga studio.  But since the studio has moved to private classes only (at $100 a pop it is doesn't quite fit into my budget) I haven't had much of an excuse to go there anymore.

So I was excited to find this little food truck not only because I was entirely sick of the mediocre lunch options in my area, but also because I was looking forward to a reunion with a Banh Mi.

Luckily, the reunion was a happy one.  First of all the truck is spotless, which is always confidence inducing.  Secondly, the menu is pretty extensive.

You've got chicken, tuna, pork, veggie, Vietnamese meatball (my choice for yesterday's lunch) long as you're in the mood for a sandwich, you can find something to sate any gustatory longing you might have.

Second of all (and really most importantly if you ask me), the sandwich was scrumptious...and I don't say that lightly.  I don't even like sandwiches most of the time.  

My little pork meatballs were juicy and flavorful.  The carrots were pickled to perfection, the cucumber was nice and crunchy, and the sandwich overall was pleasantly warm.  And there was no mayonnaise, which frankly, as a non-lover of mayonnaise, was a welcome surprise.  And oddly enough, the spice came in the form of lots of pepper rather than chile sauce which turned out to be nice...sort of a more mellow heat than I was expecting.

And although I realize that you could get a much cheaper Banh Mi out in Sunset Park or wherever, I don't think $6 for a high quality sandwich is in any way unreasonable.  Especially as I only can eat one half per lunch...$3 for an excellent lunch is hard to beat.


pve design said...

I miss the city for scouting out all the various tastes.
That sandwich looks quite de-lish. I enjoy making my lunch and that saves quite a lot. I bet you could easily make that and carry it to work.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Yes, I've made something similar with chicken in the past, and although it gets a bit soggy during the morning it is not half bad. But for those mornings when I just cannot get it together, this is a nice fresh stand in!

Joyce said...

Laura, this looks great! I'm glad you spotted the truck. I like little hidden place they usually have the best food. Enjoy...

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