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Sep 23, 2011 06:42 PM

Great Cambodian Sandwiches at Num Pang

I love this place. They have terrific "cambodian" sandwiches. Although a good friend of mine from Cambodia said they don't have any sandwiches like that there, but who cares.
The place is located in the parking garage on E12th off University. The prices are reasonable and there are some seats upstairs. On the other side of the garage is a falafel place.
What a good use of space that garage thought of.
The pork belly sandwich is really good, as is the ginger brisket, the shrimp, and the peppered mackeral. The bread (num pang is Khmer for bread) are light delicious rolls. They have special sandwiches every week, and always have a couple of vegetables, the corn on the cob is good.
I couldnt locate the thread on this place, so sorry for bad searching,,But if you never checked out this place, check it out, you're in for a great suprise.

Num Pang Sandwich Shop
21 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

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  1. They now have a midtown location, on E41st btwn 3rd and Lex. I can't rave enough. My sister got their special bacon/grilled peach/grilled scallion sandwich a couple weeks ago, and I've been fantasizing about it since. Took a half hour detour from my life today to get one, and it's really sandwich perfection.

    Thick slices of bacon, savory sweet grilled peach, rich grilled scallion strips, the perfect amount of jalapeno, balanced by crisp cucumber and thin pickled carrot strips, all on nicely toasted, crisp, tasty bread. It's the perfect balance of savory, sweet, crispy, and spicy, and reminded me of Saigon banh mi 10 years ago when they weren't all premade and were still unbelievably amazing.

    Can't do the shrimp (allergic), but what are your other favorites there?

    5 Replies
    1. re: rose water

      I see according to their online menu that the peach and bacon sandwich is not offered at the Union Square shop, so don't get too excited downtowners. I've liked the cauliflower, the bluefish, and the Khmer sausage sandwiches.

      1. re: wasny

        I really have no reason to ever be near Grand Central, but I can see myself trying to rationalize reasons to go now! My wonderful cheese suggestions/samples/purchases from Murray's at the GC food court doesn't help.

      2. re: rose water

        Missed out on this sandwich, unfortunately. I went today and was told it probably won't be back till next summer.

        1. re: squid kun

          Sorry you missed it, but good to know, thanks. I'm less likely to detour from my life for their regular selection.

          1. re: rose water

            Aw, we all need to detour from our lives once in a while ...

      3. I like Num Pang too although I also suspected Cambodians don't use that much mayonnaise sauce in their sandwiches...

        What I'm really miss are Toronto style banh mi. They generally use a thinner French-style baguette with a more crispy crust and soft interior (the one commonly used in NYC seems more like Italian bread) and they put a spicy butter onto it rather than jalapeƱos. Minced Chinese BBQ pork is usually a filling option - the closest thing I've seen here is grilled pork slices. Any place in the city serving this style of banh mi?

        10 Replies
        1. re: pravit

          pravit, there 're quite a few banh mi vendors in NYC that use some rendition of a crispier, lighter roll than Num Pang's, and include some sort of barbecued pork as an ingredient. Tried Saigon Bakery? Paris Bakery? An Choi? Baoguette?

          1. re: knucklesandwich

            Re: Baoguette: Their St Marks St. location closed a while ago. I don't know if they have another location.

            1. re: knucklesandwich

              Yep I've tried both Paris Bakery locations, the jewelry shop banh mi (I think that's Saigon), and Nicky's. They are good but the bread is just different from the ones in Toronto. In general NYC banh mi seem a lot wider and bigger, more like an Italian sub sandwich and I can barely fit them into my mouth - perhaps that is why they are more expensive? In Toronto they easily fit into a paper hot dog wrapper and cost around $2. Here's a pic:

              Compared to NYC style:

              1. re: pravit

                Based on your pics, I'd say Toronto is a better banh mi town than Manhattan. I'm not a Num Pang fan, and your Canadian banh mi look ideal.

                1. re: pravit

                  You'd probably have to head to Brooklyn to get better banh mi sandwiches. There's one or two in Sunset that are considered the best in NY. And I am inclined to agree.

                  Num Pang's bread ain't traditional banh mi bread. I think they source it from Parisi.

                  But the other banh mi places do use (or should use) the traditional banh mi style bread, that is lighter or different by incorporating rice flour. I think in NY, it's generally a little more overstuffed with bigger bread in general. But it's definitely not heavy (like the Parisi or Italian bread).

                  1. re: villainx

                    I think i know what pravit's thinking. many (not all) places in ny serving "banh mi" are putting asian ingredients on hero bread. this includes all the various copy cat brooklyn places (the park slop henry/hanco/home triangle of mediocrity) but definitely not Ba Xuyen, which makes a pretty good sandwich. its great for ny, but would not stack up favorably against my favorites in minnesota and california.

                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                      The closest I've been to what pravit is talking about was in Gretna, south of New Orleans. pravit, have you tried South Louisiana?

                      1. re: knucklesandwich

                        Haven't ever tried Banh Mi outside NYC, Toronto, and El Paso unfortunately.

                        What banh mi places in Sunset Park does everyone recommend? Queens have any good places?

                        I have heard good things about Banh Mi Zon in the EV, but they were closed when I went to try it on Saturday.

                        1. re: pravit

                          Ba Xuyen in Brooklyn is generally/widely considered the NYC best. I agree with that. Though I think NYC is limited in great Vietnamese food.

                    2. re: villainx

                      Thanks for mentioning that Parisi might make the bread at Num Pang. i happen to really like Num Pang's bread, so I will check Parisi for that.

              2. Here's to hoping they start serving amok trey. I've only eaten it once, in Siem Reab, but oh was it memorable.

                1. raining today..didn't know what I wanted so I decided to walk down to Num Pang on 41st street. Ordered the pork belly and pulled duroc sandwiches. I don't know why I ordered two sandwiches but given that I walked more than 10 blocks, I felt like I should order at least 2 sandwiches. Both were good though I preferred the pork belly. Love the sauce and the crispy bread. I just can't believe I finished both sandwiches.
                  Saw Jeffrey Garten (Ina Garten's husband) on the way.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Monica

                    I had posted ahout their weekly special (last week?) that had figs and was really good- usually has bacon jam on it too. If its still on the menu it was seriously good! (Even without the bacon jam- not my thing)
                    The soups sounded good too but i haven't tried those yet

                    1. re: Monica

                      Wow two sandwiches, that's a lot of food. I like their coconut shrimp sandwich and their brisket sandwich. Their soups are excellent. I also always get corn on the cob with that spicy mayo.I miss the 12th street location. But I heard they will be there soon.
                      As I've mentioned before, my friend from Cambodia has never seen these types of sandwiches in that country. Nonetheless, they taste great

                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                        I will have to try the coconut shrimp and brisket sandwiches soon.
                        It's one of those thing where one is a bit too little and 2 is a bit too pizza..
                        I am sure no one in Cambodia eats a sandwich like that.
                        It was funny though the most customers were men.

                        1. re: Monica

                          The crowd varies, maybe depends on neighborhood. I had a coconut shrimp sandwich there today at the Chelsea Market one, it was delicious.. Many women customers. I only got one sandwich no sides, but then went and got some pastries and coffee. Only problem is I had to eat standing up. No seating available.