Pho Cho Ben Thanh Open in Former Custard King, Sweet 'n' Tart Space
Looks like Pho Cho Ben Thanh, which has Grand Opening! banners plastered across its façade and is running a debut special of 15% off, is so new there's no intel on it on the various websites.
It's at 76 Mott Street in Chinatown, in the space formerly occupied by the Egg Custard King and, before that, Sweet 'n' Tart Cafe. It doesn't seem to specialize in any one dish, and all the usual Vietnamese suspects are on the menu--pho, bun (vermicelli dishes), banh mi, etc.
My fiancée and I had the bun cha gio thit nuong* (rice vermicelli topped with grilled pork and spring rolls) and thought it was pretty good. The pork was just slightly sweet with a nice balance of fat and crispness, and the spring rolls were above average and weren't too thick on the skin, which I've found to be the downfall of a lot of the Vietnamese places in Chinatown.
We also had banh hoi chao tom (barbecued shrimp roll wrapped around sugar cane) as an appetizer and noted that it came with ample lettuce for wrapping — something else I've found lacking in other nearby places.
Have any other SE'rs tried Pho Cho Ben Thanh yet? I'd be curious as to your impressions.
Pho Cho Ben Thanh
76 Mott Street, New York NY 10013 (Canal/Bayard; map)
* Yes, we both ordered the same thing, which I guess isn't a very "foodie" thing to do. So sue me. We were both craving it!