I stopped in the new Ba Xuyen today for my usual #6 banh mi, the Chicken Fu. I also picked up a meatball, to give it another shot, seeing how it's Sietsema's favorite. I don't know if it's because I went there earlier than usual, or if they're branching out more, but the table in front of the counter had a wider array of non-banh mi items than I've seen there yet. There were the usual spring rolls and bun (both great), two types of summer rolls, various styrofoam and saran-wrapped rice/meat/vegetable combinations, roasted ears of corn slathered with what looked like a minced green vegetable sauce, rice balls of various types, and some totally unknown things. Practically all of these are $3. The most intriguing was a clear plastic cup containing what looked like peaches in syrup with hot pepper flakes but on closer examination appeared to be a fennel-like vegetable. I asked, but their English wasn't up to the task. This is the real-est Vietnamese food I've happened upon so far in the five boroughs.
4222 8th Ave
open until 7:30pm daily