Chinatown Pharmacy Is No Longer in the Pork-Sandwich Business
We’re with Jonathan Lethem when he says that bánh mìs — the cheap Vietnamese baguette sandwiches usually stuffed with pork, pork, pork, and some veggies for good measure — are as vital to keeping working artists in the city as affordable rents. Which is why we’re sad to report the removal of the bánh mì counter in the Tú Quynm Pharmacy (also a CD shop) on the corner of Grand Street and Bowery — certainly the most bizarrely situated one if you discount Báhn Mì Saigon, located in the back of a nearby jewelry store. If this was your pâté chã go-to, know there are other sandwich fixes within a few blocks — namely Saigon, Viet-Nam Banh Mi So 1, and Paris Sandwich, which also serves waffles! But really, we’ll miss being able to fill a prescription for our heart meds while loading up on pork.
Related: Jonathan Lethem Fuels His Writing With ‘White Trash’ Sandwiches
Green Nightclub Attempts to Save Chelsea From Being So OverBrooklyn Heights: Montague Street poised for burger wars as the chain Five Guys Famous enters the fray. [The Brooklyn Paper]
Central Park: The Boathouse is open. [Eater]
Chelsea: Jon B. will open the first green nightclub, trading the B crowds for the untapped alcoholic, occasional recycler market. [Down by the Hipster]
Dumbo: A snapshot of La Bagel Delight makes a statement for Franco-American diplomacy. [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: At Thai Me Up, a new revisionist báhn mì shop, sautéed vegetables and various sauces sub in for sriracha and the usual cold toppings. [The Strong Buzz]
Red Hook: Vendors discover the “soft opening” at the ball fields; next weekend the full array of pupusas and meat on sticks should be available. [Brooklyn Record]
Soho: Bon Anniversaire! Balthazar celebrates ten years of beautiful design and hot babes today and tonight with free Champagne. [House and Garden]
West Village: Red-velvet cupcakes from Harlem’s Make My Cake now commuting to the new Southern Gourmet Pantry at 529 Hudson. [Blog Chelsea] Department of Health shutters Fedora; a sign claims the restaurant’s fixing its sink. [Grub Street]
Boi to Go Brings Bánh Mì and More to Turtle BayThe Underground Gourmet is among New York’s fiercest bánh mì fans, and they welcomed Boi to Go, a new Turtle Bay Vietnamese sandwich shop, in this week’s Openings. The restaurant is sleek, neat, and casual; you can check out the menu (the latest addition to our vast database) here.
Boi to Go menu [Menus]
The Underground Gourmet
The World’s First Polish Bánh Mì Is Our Sandwich of the WeekConsider the “Greenpoint” sandwich at the new Williamsburg Vietnamese restaurant, Silent H, the world’s first Polish bánh mì. At long last, these two seemingly unfusable cuisines have fused, and no one could be happier about this blessed union than the Underground Gourmet, who yields to no one in his devotion to both Polish sausages and Vietnamese sandwiches. The “Greenpoint” is by all outward appearances a regular bánh mì (itself, of course, one of the greatest fusion dishes of all time) meticulously primped with pickled carrot, cucumber, daikon, fresh jalapeño, and cilantro. One side of the bread is slicked with pork-liver pâté, which serves nicely as a condiment rather than a filling; the other with a judicious swipe of aïoli.
Williamsburg: Subway Out, Silent H InConey Island : Having evicted and demolished the neighboring mini-golf course, Thor Equities neglects to renew the lease for beachside fave the Grill House. Where else are we supposed to get pretzels on hot dogs? [Gowanus Lounge]
East Village: Just in time for the 50-plus-degree weather, a Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory alum has opened a haute creamery on Avenue B near 14th Street. [DailyCandy]
Harlem: Gospel jazz comes to the Harlem Tea Room Friday night. Sure to be a wild evening. [Uptown Flavor]
Midtown East: Local prisons and the United Nations share a controversial food supplier, Aramark. Also, you’re allowed to smoke in the U.N. dining room. [Gridskipper]
West Village: Locals find a creative outlet to cope with fears of rat infestation: unchecked pun-making. [NewYorkology]
Williamsburg: Controversial Subway franchise on Bedford now up for sale. Comes with free trapper hat. [Curbed] Vinh Nguyen fulfills his dream of bringing good Vietnamese to New York, helping people pronounce his name with the opening of Silent H. (His dream of serving alcohol, on the other hand … ) [i’m not sayin, i’m just sayin]
Silent H Not Deaf to New York’s Pleas for Vietnamese“I don’t miss anything about California except Mexican food and Vietnamese food,” says Vinh Nguyen, a onetime UCLA premed who fell into the hospitality business as a bar back at Santa Monica’s legendary Father’s Office. Since moving east three years ago, Nguyen has found New York’s Vietnamese options sorely lacking, especially when compared to the home cooking of his mother, an immigrant who left school at 9 to sell street food in Hue. The problem, as he sees it, is laundry-list menus that are too hit-or-miss, combined with “atmospheres” defined by single-white-napkin dispensers and dirty bathrooms.
Bánh Mì, Oh, My: New Shop Challenges the Greats
It takes chutzpa to open up a báhn mì shop around the corner from the beloved Bánh Mì Saigon (not to mention Viet-Nam Banh Mi, which is a couple of blocks down), but newcomer Paris Sandwich is clearly hoping to one-up those cramped storefront operations — the restaurant has a clean, spacious, bright-yellow interior adorned with Fodor’s-worthy photos of the City of Light. Despite the chainlike setup (a “fast food” portion of the menu offers comfort dishes like a pork chop on rice and roti-style chicken accompanied by bread and dipping curry), owner Jimmy Ly’s own mother, Kim Phung, oversees a kitchen that bakes crispy, skinny baguettes for twelve types of Vietnamese sandwiches — everything from the usual pork-roll-and-liver-pâté variety to a faux-chicken version made with gluten. Ly also prides himself on the fact that his desserts — Vietnamese flan, green-tea waffles, and the like — are made on the premises and that the coffee beans were chosen only after he and his dad did some extensive research in the homeland. Sounds bon to us. — Daniel MaurerParis Sandwich, 113 Mott St., nr. Canal St.; 212-226-7221