A Sandwich a Day: Meatball Banh Mi at Banh Mi Saigon

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.


[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Lately we've been treating sandwiches from Banh Mi Saigon more as a vessel for hackable fillings than a lunch in themselves. The bread's decent when fresh, and the pickled veggie innards are abundant. But the meat, we've found, is just alright: standard cold cuts and dry grilled items.

So should you visit Banh Mi Saigon, consider this meatball version instead. And by meatballs we mean, "Wait, is this an Ikea Swedish meatball?" They're not, but you could tell us they were and we wouldn't say you're wrong. And that's just fine: the tender, juicy meatballs fall apart on first bite, as moist as Saigon's other meats are dry. They're light on the beefy flavor, delicate rather than full bodied.

Saigon has a heavy hand with the mayo, and the result in this sandwich is something like a Big Mac with a crisper crust. Meat and pickle juices mingle with the mayo in every bite, a junk food pleasure formula that works just fine for us.

Banh Mi Saigon

198 Grand Street, New York NY 10013 (map) 212-941-1541