Today’s Special: Spanish mackerel at Num Pang, New York
The banh mi is Vietnam’s gift to the sandwich world, but Vietnam is not the only place in that wonderful part of Asia that likes to have fun with two pieces of bread (the French spread themselves around). Cambodia has sandwiches—num pang—made in a similar fashion to banh mi, and lucky for me, a Cambodian chef is making some killer ones in New York City. Missing some of the great catch that was so easy to get in Vancouver, I decided on the mackerel. Juicy and tender, it was a perfect foil to the crusty bread and crisp vegetables. The sauteed leeks added a nice extra bit of savoury. And I have to say, I prefer Num Pang’s denser French bread to the lighter and crispier rolls that most banh mi are made with. But that’s me, a well-known carb addict. Both locations, one in Union Square, the other near Grand Central, are perfect for tourist types, but even more perfect for locals who might be wondering what to eat in those less-than-ideal dining locales. Low on atmosphere, take your sandwich to go and park yourself on a bench. Close your eyes and dream of vacationing along the Mekong.
21 East 12 St, New York