Vietnamese and Cambodian sandwich shops have popped up all over the city as of late and I couldn’t be gladder. These sandwiches are always incredibly satisfying and affordable on my practically nonexistent college student budget. AND they feature two of my favorite things: crispy baguettes and succulent pork. This is just one of the reasons I refuse to leave NYC – our world of fast food has evolved well beyond mediocre pizza and burgers.
Num Pang is a two-minute walk from the ever popular Union Square. It is a hole-in-the-wall storefront with a four by four kitchen on the ground floor and a spiral staircase that leads to an upstairs seating area with about a dozen stools surrounding a wooden counter.
I met my beau there after a whole day of classes to refuel before we set out on a vintage shopping escapade. I had the Duroc (I have no idea what this means – anyone feel like cluing me in?) Pulled Pork ($7.75): Juicy pulled pork enveloped in a spiced honey sauce, pickled carrots, sliced cucumbers and whole cilantro leaves, all drizzled with chili mayo and held together by a toasted fresh baguette roll. Dense meaty goodness, a vinegary aroma, creamy mayo and crispy bread make for one serious mouth party. I’m drooling just writing about it.
My date had the Tiger Coconut Shrimp ($8), which had the same elements as listed above except there were shrimp and toasted coconut flakes instead of pork. This sandwich was much less dense but still great. The sweet, floral coconut makes this sandwich option a very unique one.
P.S: If you’re not willing to take my expert advice, know that Num Pang was featured on Bon Appetit’s “25 things to eat and drink in 2012” list.