Quest for Sandwiches
A while ago, I either read about or heard about these Vietnamese sandwiches called Bahn Mi--I said (a) wow, they sound yummy, and (b) I call myself a foodie, and I've never actually had one of these?!?! I was further pushed by a New York Times article about travelling to Oklahoma City, and sampling the Vietnamese food there (Hi Sulu!). Anyway, time to solve this problem--I looked online and found a few recommended places in Chinatown.
So on a thesis break this weekend, JMD and I had a few mass transit adventures, heading from Arlington to Chinatown. On the way down, we tried the Commuter Rail option (Lowell Line, West Medford to North Station)--not a bad little ride.
Our target was New Saigon Sandwich (696 Washington St)--just a block away from the Orange Line Chinatown stop. Incidentally, once we surfaced, it was pretty clear that the Combat Zone is on its way out now--the last of the porn shops appears to be closed, only leaving, as far as I can tell, Centerfolds strip club. Lots of new residential development... oh, excuse me, luxury condominiums.
But on to sammwiches:
This is a bánh mì xíu mại (with crushed pork meatballs). Oh man... exactly what I was looking for. The crunch of a fluffy baguette (yeah, that's the French colonial influence for you), the fresh vegetables (carrots, cilantro, onions), and the slightly sweet/fish sauce flavored meat. And all that for $2.50! What a deal! Plus a lovely day to eat outside.
The trip continued with a meander through Chinatown--a few bakeries, the food service supply store, and a requisite stop at Brehznev's for a scallion pie. The kid there who helps out with serving (Philip) is totally growing up... but that's what kids do. He also has a younger sister or cousin, who is pretty adorable.
A stop in Harvard Square on the way home, and back to theesing. Ok, well... first replacing a broken bicycle spoke... then blogging... but... yeah... back to work.