Chinatown has a new banh mi spot: A Chau Deli, and it’s a contender. Our first report says it’s in the same league as Saigon Banh Mi, a solid favorite among Manhattan hounds. squid kun reports a nicely balanced pate-and-cold cut sandwich from the newcomer, with ample meat, brightly dressed carrot-cucumber slaw, and a vigorous chile kick. Their vegetable knifework is particularly commendable, making the whole thing easier to eat. Open since June, A Chau also has spring rolls, salads and other dishes. And for alfresco diners, it’s just half a block from Columbus Park.
Saigon Banh Mi remains on top of its game, most say, turning out a signature sandwich overstuffed with deeply flavored coarse-chopped barbecued pork. “Still far and away the best,” declares guttergourmet, though some complain of long waits and occasional soggy premade sandwiches.
Other banh mi hunters remind us not to walk past a Vietnamese electronics store without pausing for a sniff–there might just be a sandwich counter in there alongside the CDs, cell phones, and karaoke video discs. That’s the setup at Tu Quynh, where SLAP reports decent sandwiches, and Khai Tri, a music store with a banh mi operation called Ba Le.
A couple miles uptown, anne loves the sandwiches at Bao Noodles, which offers sandwiches with the classic cold cut and pate, grilled pork, grilled shrimp, OR rotisserie chicken. They’re $6–twice the going rate in Chinatown–but she thinks they’re worth it.
Perennial favorites for Vietnamese sandwiches include Banh Mi So 1 and Nicky’s, especially for its pork chop banh mi, says big o. By the way, Nicky’s long-awaited Brooklyn branch remains in regulatory limbo, but the owners promise it’ll open soon, possibly within a month.
A Chau [Chinatown]
82A Mulberry St., between Bayard and Canal, Manhattan
Saigon Banh Mi [Chinatown]
a.k.a. Saigon Bakery
138 Mott St., between Grand and Hester, Manhattan
Ba Le Deli [Chinatown]
145-147 Canal St., between Bowery and Chrystie, in Khai Tri music and electronics store, Manhattan, NY
Bao Noodles [Flatiron]
391 2nd Ave., between 22nd and 23rd Sts., Manhattan
Banh Mi So 1 [Little Italy]
369 Broome St., between Mott and Elizabeth, Manhattan
Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches [East Village]
150 E. 2nd St., near Ave. A, Manhattan
Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches [Boerum Hill]
to open at…311 Atlantic Ave., between Hoyt and Smith Sts., Brooklyn