Branching Out @ Bánh Mì Saigon

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Bánh Mì Saigon's yummy--and cheap--pork sandwich, and every time I go in, I'm drawn back to its spicy, flavorful goodness. But in the interest of trying new things, I've finally branched out.

I pondered the menu and almost chose the paté option, but I ended up going with the meatball bánh mì ($4), figuring I'd leap into the world of mystery meat. I'd imagined the meatballs would be some sort of Vietnamese-inspired something, but instead, they seemed to reflect the Asian/Italian fusion going on in that neighborhood (Bánh Mì Saigon's new location is at the crossroads of Little Italy and Chinatown on Grand Street between Mulberry and Mott). The meatball recipe seemed to be traditionally Western, and matched with some sort of cooked tomato, layer #1 was very reminiscent of an Italian-style sub. Topped with the traditional Vietnamese veggies, it was one heck of a crazy combo, and while it was OK, I'm not sure I was a fan. It was a kind of flavor confusion that never really won me over...

The best part, though, was that for whatever reason, the bread was fresh and warm. It's always good at Bánh Mì Saigon, but on that particular day, I truly lucked out.

Bánh Mì Saigon, 138 Grand Street between Mulberry and Mott.

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