As if losing the bánh mì counter in the Tú Quynm Pharmacy wasn’t bad enough, there’s still more reason to worry about the state of the Vietnamese sandwich, an institution that Jonathan Lethem told us is “as vital to keeping working artists in the city as are affordable rents.” Cheap Eats favorite Bánh Mì Saigon Bakery celebrated the New Year by raising its prices by 50 cents across the board, bumping certain sandwiches to an unheard of $5.50 (they say the cost of product went up). And just yesterday, Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich (formerly known as Viet-Nam Banh Mi and no relation to Bánh Mì Saigon) upped its prices to as high as $4.25. Employees were apologetically offering sandwiches at the old prices (we were charged $3.50 instead of the new $3.95 for the house special of grilled pork, Vietnamese salami, and sliced pork), but that’s small consolation. This is easily the most disturbing price hike since a Gray’s Papaya dog went to $1.25.
Pardon the tear stains on this photo. Photo: Daniel Maurer