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Feb 17, 2000 09:22 AM

where are the good vietnamese sandwiches in chinatown???

  • w

Requests for a good source of Vietnamese sandwiches has yielded excellent results in the outer boro and "the best" message boards. Unfortunately, the discussion immediately goes off on a tangent before anyone volunteers where to find a good one in Chinatown.

Before I launch a multi-week trial & error expedition.....does anyone have any advice?

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  1. Try the one in the shopping center at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge, just north of East Broadway (on the street, not in the mall). (Obviously, I don't recall the name.)

    7 Replies
    1. re: Alan Emdin

      Finally - a hot trail to follow...Will do this week and report back - thanks Alan!

      1. re: wayne

        They may be closed Sundays

        1. re: Alan Emdin

          The place you are referring to is Saigon Banh Mi at 88 East Broadway and their sandwiches are to die for. They cost a whopping $2.50. The other place I reccomend for their Banh Mi sandwiches is Pho Tu Do at 119 Bowery which is a sitdown restaurant and one of the best restaurants in the city. Its very clean and you can eat like a pig for $15.

          1. re: drobinson

            Went out for Bahn Mi today. First stop was Saigon Bahn Mi, which unfortunately was still closed at 11:45am. Pho Tu Do, on the other hand, was open and ready to please. Got 3 sandwiches for myself and my pals and 2 summer rolls. I'd give the sandwiches a 8.5 on the 1-10 scale. Bread:beautiful. Meats:Just enough. Pate:A little tame. Mayo:Just enough. Vegtables:Fresh and plentiful. Spicyness:None to speak of. Price:$2.50. A beautiful quality lunch at a wonderful price. The summer rolls were tasty and soft with nice fresh scallions and carrots. Looking forward to going back to Saigon Bahn Mi to sample their wares and to Pho Tu Do for a proper dinner. Nice folks there.

            1. re: wayne

              Went out for Bahn Mi again today. Fortunately, Saigon Bahn Mi at 88 E Bway was open this time. Got two to go, with a mung bean cake and 2 cans of juice. I'd give these sandwiches a 9 on the 1-10 scale. Bread:very good, but not as good as Pho Tu Do. Meats:The best. Sliced chicken roll and killer seafood sausage, chewy and redolent of garlic. Pate: None on this baby, the sausage is the substitute. Mayo:Just barely enough. Vegtables:Fresh and plentiful. Spicyness: They asked, and I got it. A few slices of fresh hot pepper.
              Price:$2.50. Yet again, a beautiful quality lunch at a wonderful price. We also had Pennywort and Soursop juice. The Pennywort was an acquired taste, kinda reminded me of a combo between green tea and wheatgrass. The Soursop looked like a durian on the can, but tasted like thin peach nectar (good). The mung bean cake tasted mostly of banana and was a nice dessert, but too leaden to finish more than a quarter of it in one sitting. Total cost for all of the above: $7.75. More to come...

              1. re: wayne

                Went out again today...this time to a place on Canal, East of Bowery, north side, right near the Manhattan bridge. Results: uggh...

                Bread: substandard. Meats: 2 mystery meats, one bologna-like, one chicken roll-like. Also, lopsided shmear of liverwurst-like spread. Mayo: a half-hearted knifeful. Vegtables: the standard carrot/radish handful, some wilted scallion, no coriander. Spicyness: none. Price: $2.50. A poorly made, non-tasty example of how NOT to make a Vietnamese sandwich. A "2" on the 1-10 scale. The first one I've had that I would say was NOT worth the $2.50 it cost. A major letdown after the sublime garlicky goodness of Saigon Bahn Mi, and especially disappointing since it was recommended via personal email by a to-remain-nameless Chowhound after seeing my posting.

                Well, experiences like this builds character in dedicated chowhounds. After I recover, I'll try again.

                1. re: wayne

                  The folks at my job & I have decided to standardize on Saigon Bahn Mi as "THE" chinatown vietnamese sandwich of choice for us. They are just too damn good. We found out today that you can call your order in for pickup: 212-941-1541. We had a Pho Tu Do sandwich earlier this week. While a very nice sandwich, it just doesn't inspire the wild cravings of a Saigon Bahn Mi creation. (Psssst....the secret is in the sausage!)

                  I posted a link to the Brooklyn version of this thread below. Go to An Dong for the Brooklyn 's best.


    2. I had a great one (for practically nothing) in a Vietnamese restaurant across from the new library on Main Street in Flushing.

      1. I haven't tried them, but I saw a paper sign touting bahn mi in the window of a small place on Canal St., right next to one of the uptown entrances to the N train. There's a hanging sign with a faded, rather unappealing photo on a pizza right near it. I know that sounds pretty vague. Let us know if you go there!