Lunch Today »

Lunchtime adventures from the Serious Eats editors.

Lunch Today: Shrimp Summer Rolls from Banh Mi Saigon

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[Photograph: Shell Tu]

You know those summer days when you're not in the mood for anything too hot or heavy for lunch, your office AC is busted, and you're still full from the crunchy peanut butter tastings? Well, it was one of those days, so when walking across the street to Banh Mi Saigon, the packaged gỏi cuốn, or shrimp summer roll ($5), in the fridge next to the sodas looked light, refreshing, and perfect.

Summer rolls usually fall under that appetizer/not-a-whole-lunch category, but these are long, and after the whole trio, you're actually pretty full. The pliable, translucent rice-paper wrappers snugly bundle up shrimp, rice vermicelli, fresh mint leaves, and long scallions (their green tails stick out). The rolls aren't all that exciting alone, so be sure to get your mini plastic tubs of dark peanut dipping sauce, and the smaller tub of red chile sauce (I like to mix the two to create a fiery-nutty mashup dip).

Maggie and Robyn also grabbed some gỏi cuốn. This might be our new favorite refreshing, summertime lunch fix especially on those rare, very rare, days when we need a break from the sea of sandwiches that end up at SEHQ.

Banh Mi Saigon

198 Grand Street, New York NY 10013 (map); 212-941-1541
banhmisaigonnyc.com

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