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Num Pang reports?

D...DF Mar 20, 2009 12:44 PM

Eater says they opened to the public today. I've been waiting with bated breath.

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  1. l
    lanadai RE: D...DF Mar 20, 2009 12:49 PM

    I was planning on eating there for lunch today but was scared away by the crowd out front. After lunch, there was still a small line. I am going to walk by after work and get a sandwich since I work down the block. It smelled really good when I walked past. Funny, there was no one at University Pita today.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lanadai
      D...DF RE: lanadai Mar 20, 2009 01:37 PM

      Cool, I look forward to your report. I won't be able to get over there today.

      1. re: D...DF
        lanadai RE: D...DF Mar 20, 2009 04:33 PM

        I got a a grilled cauliflower sandwich for myself and a pork sandwich for my bf. The cauliflower was kinda soft and the eggplant was more of like a sauce/marmalade. The bread was toasted nicely but kinda dense and my whole sandwich was kinda mushy but really tasty. I liked my bf's pork sandwich better. Both were $6.75. It's a good quick lunch spot for the area.

    2. k
      kathyyl RE: D...DF Mar 20, 2009 02:37 PM

      Serious Eats did a post on the soft opening here -> http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/0...

      1. JungMann RE: D...DF Mar 23, 2009 07:22 AM

        I visited Num Pang on Saturday. The crowds were thinner than I anticipated, though it still took a good 20 minutes between getting in line and leaving with sandwich in hand. The bread was good, toasted so that the outsides were crusty and crisp, while the insides were still soft and moist. The filling in my shrimp num pang was generous, but was wanting some acid and more cilantro to cut through all the mayo. I didn't detect much heat, though perhaps that and the acid were to be supplied by the pickled cabbage which was missing from my sandwich.

        I'm a fan of the num pang at Kampuchea, especially the oxtails. The vegetables are plentiful and provide a sharp contrast to the rich meats, but Num Pang seems to offer more of a to-go version of the signature dish: smaller, less loaded and I suppose more transportable. If I'd not had the sandwiches at their sister restaurant, I'd be fine with what I ordered, but I know that these could be a whole lot better.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JungMann
          hungrycomposer RE: JungMann Mar 23, 2009 08:17 AM

          I called them early in the evening on Saturday to make sure they were still open, and they said they had enough food for about twenty more sandwiches. Maybe they had to skimp a little to stretch it out...?

        2. guttergourmet RE: D...DF Mar 23, 2009 08:57 AM

          I was there Friday evening at 6PM. Looked like the line outside of Artichoke or the evacuation of Saigon. I fought my way in and managed to get two sandwiches: the grilled pork and the veal meatballs. Took them upstairs and got a table overlooking the garage next door (which kind of made me feel like I was at a roadside stand in Vietnam/Cambodia). The grilled pork was great. On a par with Nicky's on 2nd Street. A little sriracha sauce made it even better. The meatballs were evn better though the tomato sauce made me wonder whether it was the italians rather than the french who occupied southeast Asia. On a par with the sloppy bau sandwich at Bauguette on Lex. Hopefully the crowds will die down.

          1 Reply
          1. re: guttergourmet
            guttergourmet RE: guttergourmet Mar 27, 2009 07:14 AM

            Went back and had the pulled pork (as opposed to the grilled pork) and the meatballs again. Though still great, the novelty is fading a bit for me. The sweet stewed tomato sauce really conflicts with the mayo, cucumber and carrots on the meatballs. Similarly, the pulled pork was not as good (or as Cambodian/Vietnamese) as the grilled pork. I think I'll stick with Baoguette and Saigon Bakery. Still have to try An Choi's traditional banh mi -their crispy pork belly which I reviewed in a sepaarte thread was reminiscent of Porchetta.

          2. h
            hungrycomposer RE: D...DF Mar 23, 2009 04:43 PM

            Stopped by today (mon.) at 6PM. They're closed until tomorrow, working out the kinks I guess...

            1. b
              baobao RE: D...DF Mar 27, 2009 03:15 PM

              I found the pork dry and the vegetarian one a bit boring... not bad, but just didn't hit the spot. The catfish is another story entirely. Took a while to get that one, but it was well worth the wait.

              1. s
                small h RE: D...DF Apr 1, 2009 05:27 AM

                I stopped by yesterday around 4pm and was the only customer. I got the catfish sandwich, which was fine. Good bread, fresh fish, but overall not something I'd go out of my way for. I've had the catfish sandwich at Kampuchea, and I remember that one being world's better (it was a while ago, though). Also, $7.50 is simply too much to pay for a smallish takeout sandwich. In these troubled times.

                1. egit RE: D...DF Apr 6, 2009 03:00 PM

                  Stopped by here today for lunch. Contrary to others, I thought the service was fine, if not particularly friendly. Now when they give you your receipt, they tell you your number. It was not crowded and it was less than 10 minutes from walking up to the window, to being upstairs with my sandwich.

                  I got the pulled pork. It was okay, but the pork didn't inspire me all that much. Maybe grilled pork would be better. The toppings were good, but the sandwich was WAY TOO SMALL for $7.50. It was a little 5 inch football shaped thing. I could easily have had two, but not for $15.

                  The bread was good, and I appreciated the bottles of sriracha so I could doctor it myself. But again, too much money for too little food. Would rather baoguette or (more preferably) one of the chinatown spots.

                  I still like Kampuchea though.

                  1. Travels4Food RE: D...DF Apr 14, 2009 06:52 PM

                    I tried the Duroc pork sandwich and was...underwhelmed. For $7.20 I got a double-fist-sized sandwich with a heavy, unctuous filling offset slightly by the sprinkling of julienned pickled carrots and fresh cilantro. I liked neither the pork's flavor nor its texture. I might at some point try another sandwich, but give me a $3.95 banh mi from Broome Street any day.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Travels4Food
                      pitu RE: Travels4Food May 4, 2009 04:29 PM

                      Yeah, I have to agree - underwhelmed by the pulled pork, and meatball sandwiches. Although the homemade hot sauce (HOT) that came wtih the pork was pretty bitchin', the pork itself did nothing for me. Weird, to have two favorite sandwiches (Carolina pulled pork, and bánh mi) meet in one sandwich...to the betterment of neither.
                      But how do they make that siracha?

                      It's not a *bad* sandwich, until you compare it with traditional bánh mì. This place is getting into when-is-a-bánh-mì-not-a-bánh-mì territory.

                      The meat balls are pretty bland - none of that black pepper fish sauce flavorfulness you get at the Chinatown places, Manhattan or Brooklyn. The bread football is chewy and dense -- again, a really nice piece of bread, but not not the exquisite chewy lightness of great bánh mì.

                    2. k
                      kayEx RE: D...DF Jul 8, 2009 10:38 PM

                      My b/f and I had the five spice pork belly and the lemon grass chicken pate sandwiches. We had half of each, and to be fair I was underwhelmed. The bread was toasted nicely, but the pate was a boring as there was no particular flavor that stood out. As for the pork belly the spice combination was not as interesting as I thought it would be. All in all a decent meal but definitely not worth going out of my way for. We'll try Kampuchea as the consensus here seems to be that that is better.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kayEx
                        JungMann RE: kayEx Jul 9, 2009 06:14 AM

                        Let us know how you think they compare. I haven't been since to Kampuchea since my visit to their sandwich shop, but I remember the sandwiches at the restaurant being so explosive in flavor that I was surprised to find their specialty shop so underwhelming.

                      2. MWinston RE: D...DF Jul 9, 2009 06:12 AM

                        I agree with everyone here. I had the 5-Spice-Pork Belly and was quite underwhelmed.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MWinston
                          mr_seabass RE: MWinston Jul 9, 2009 06:29 AM

                          I love the 5 Spice Pork Belly with Rhubarb. To me, the combination is spectacular, and the tender, rich, spicy pork belly is just superb. Pared with a watermelon drink, it's probably my favorite dish in the city right now. BUT this is in a vacuum... I've never been to Kampuchea, so can't make the comparison.

                        2. LeahBaila RE: D...DF Jul 9, 2009 06:49 AM

                          Has anyone tried their snow cones yet?


                          1. s
                            sea97horse RE: D...DF Jul 9, 2009 02:00 PM

                            I quite liked the catfish sandwich with a green peppercorn sauce -- lots of flavors, pleasantly spiced, very good bread. But it is more expensive and less food than the FiDi banh mi cart --

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sea97horse
                              MWinston RE: sea97horse Jul 9, 2009 07:15 PM

                              I have yet to try Baoguette's Curry Catfish sandwich, but I'm almost positive it will be better and a better value.

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