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Jan 24, 2007 05:27 AM

Paris Sandwich - Good Bahn Mi?

Saw FloFab's mention of a new Bahm Mi shop on Mott and Canal in today's Times, and I was wondering if anyone has tried it, and how it stacks up to the other Bahn Mi joints in Chinatown. Sounds like they're trying to go less "mom and pop" and more restaurant style.

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  1. The worst Banh Mi I have ever had. I entered the store and placed an order at the counter on my left. I paid, was given a receipt and directed ahead to another counter at the rear of the store. Seconds later I was handed a pre made sandwich. I sat down at a nearby table and inspected the sandwich. Tucked into a half wax paper sleeve is a long baguette, in fact the skinniest baguette I have ever seen. I opened it up and saw a skimpy mound of crumbled pork drenched in oil. Along side were a few skinny slivers of carrot and the white vegetable. There were two stalks of green that had the leafy part matted to the stalk by the abundant oil. I then realized I had not been asked how spicy I wanted my sandwich so I returned to the counter. I asked for hot sauce and was given a near empty bottle of Siraccha. I asked if they had any hot peppers and was told no. The counterman did not even look up as he gruffly answered. I ate about half the sandwich and tossed the rest in the garbage. I could not get the unpleasant oily taste out of my mouth for hours. The picture in the Times bore no resemblance to what I was served. Saigon Banh Mi, is one block away but is another world when it comes to serving tasty food. Stay far away from this place.

    2 Replies
    1. re: stuartlafonda

      Somehow I'm not surprised. I'll stick to Saigon Banh Mi. Thanks.

      1. re: guttergourmet

        Actually, I'd try again if I were you. It's true, you've gotta get to the other side quickly if you want them to hold the mayo or make it spicy. I went on a relatively busy weekend morning, and I got one vegetarian and one sardine sandwich. I was able to have them hold the mayo on one and make the other extra spicy, and they used jalepenos (the classic thing to use). The bread is totally different from Saigon - it's more French. Also, they leave out the cukes, which I miss. However, the sardines are higher quality than Saigon, adn the bread is really, really fresh and good. The oil was probably because you got the bottom scoop of pork, and though that's not excusable, it won't happen most of the time.

        Saigon's vegetarian (the "banh mi chay") destroys Paris'. However, Paris has a nice area to sit in, extremely good che (the bean and/or sweet rice drnks/desserts), and a good variety of Vietnamese foods packed fast-food style. Honestly, it's better Vietnamese food than in 75% of the other places in Chinatown and 90% of the other places in Manhattan. Also, the green tea waffle is incredible. Not green tea flavored at all - more just slightly sweet, very delish.

        I like Saigon when I need 40 sandwiches to go, but for a place to enjoy a sandwich, Paris is pretty good.

    2. does anybody know the address of this banh mi shop? thanks!

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I'm Vietnamese and Paris Banh Mi is the worst banh mi I've had and I've had banh mi from all over the city and many more on the West Coast, Boston, Montreal, Houston, and New Orleans. Of course, the best are in the more populated Vietnamese cities, but my favorites here in the city are still Saigon Banh Mi and Banh Mi So 1. Their meats and veggies are so much fresher and tastier. I prefer to have a quality product (banh mi) over a nice seat to put my butt in.

          1 Reply
          1. It is no question the worst Bahn Mi I had so far in the city. Correction: worst I have in my life! IMO it is very hard to screw up a Bahn Mi (though it is hard to find a REALLY good one), but Paris sandwich managed to screw it up very very badly. The bread was chewy (probably because the flour was of bad quality) and the meat is skimpy with no taste. More like bubber. Eating their sandwich was like a wrestling between the bahn mi and my gum and teeth because it was so styrofoam-like that it took a long time to chew. I tried to give them a second chance as I thought it might be one of those "off-day" that any restaurants might have. Nope, the second time was just as bad, if not worse. Honestly even if they give it out for free, I wouldn't even bother to get one.

            I don't usually give out comments so harsh, but this time I felt I needed to as there were people who said this is the best Bahn Mi in East Coast. It is either a joke or someone works there....