We've been keeping our eyes on Khe-Yo, Soulayphet Schwader's Lao restaurant in Tribeca, and you can expect a review down the line. But right now we're focused its brand new take out sandwich counter, Khe-Yosk, a spare operation selling banh mi dressed up with braised meat and foie gras for $11 apiece.
The baguettes on both sandwiches are stunning—light, fresh, and crackly better than pretty much any banh mi bread you'll find in town. They cradle the ample fillings well, and biting into them produces an audible shatter. The restaurant claims they're from a Chinatown bakery but are cagey about naming names.
There are two fillings: a fat, fat strip of pork belly paired with leaner pork and topped with pickled daikon, cabbage, and chilies; and duck confit joined by a swipe of foie gras underneath lettuce and bell pepper. How do they fare? We have mixed opinions. Some of us loved the intensely funky flavor of the braised pork belly and foie while others were turned off by the meats' intensity. Can a banh mi filling, even one balanced by good pickled vegetables and great bread, be too flavorful for its package? Possibly. We found our opinions correlated well to how gaga we went over fatty, funky pâté; let your own tastes be your guide.
But we can all agree that despite the hefty pricetag, these sandwiches make a solid Tribeca lunch. They're sizable sandwiches, stuffed thoroughly and rather rich, and perhaps worth it for the bread alone.