Serious Eats: New York
A Sandwich a Day: Chili Mackerel Banh Mi at Bún-Ker
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Bún-Ker opened about six weeks ago on a gloomy stretch of Metropolitan Avenue in Ridgewood, and while I wouldn't call it destination Vietnamese fare yet, it's already looking like a great addition to the neighborhood. The small, funky restaurant has a Pok Pok feel to it—rickety tables, mismatched chairs, and all, and it serves a smaller, more focused menu of banh mi, pho, and reasonably priced dishes to share.
My favorite banh mi so far is the Chili Mackerel ($6.50), in which the dense fish is fried crisp, then paired with a chili mayo, cucumber, and pickled carrot and daikon. That bread may not be much to look at, but there's more crackle and lightness than appearances would suggest.
This is a fish sandwich with personality—you know you're eating mackerel, and the chef plays fast and loose with the mayo. But there are enough crunchy veggies to keep it in check, and it's a better overall sandwich than some recent ones we've tried closer to home.
46-63 Metropolitan Avenue, Ridgewood, New York 11385 (map)