Ba Xuyen Vietnamese Sandwiches
Hands down one of the best traditional Bánh Mì i've had in Brooklyn and for the most part, NYC. They lose a quarter star for raising prices to $5 a sandwich and not doing anything new. I picked up chả giò (spring rolls) and fortunately they are still only 50 cents a piece. Both are very good. All the other packaged stuff though are suspect. I've picked up a #1, which is the typical grilled pork (thit nuong) and a bbq pork patties (nem nướng̣) and finished them both without blinking an eye.... slathered in patè, butter, pickled daikon & carrots, cilantro, jalapeños and the meat, so yum.
I washed it all down with a cup of cà phê sữa nóng (vietnamese hot coffee with condensed milk). Yes. They don't skimp out on this area as they are also purveyors and brewers of Café Du Monde's French coffee grounds.
Oh, the spring rolls? That part is self serve so go grab a set of tongs, wrapper, and go to town. Definitely a must-try if you're heading this direction.
A Ba Xuyen Banh Mi Lunch
I love the American concept of a soup and sandwich lunch.
But why have American soups and sandwiches, when you can have Vietnamese ones?!
Ba Xuyen is a local favorite in the heart of Borough Park specializing in banh mi sandwiches. It's a bit of a hike, but gosh is it worth the trek. Let me tell you why !
First, they speak Vietnamese here, which just feels so right. (Also, dirty looks from old Vietnamese men are free and given out quite generously).
Second, the Vietnamese ice coffee is an immediate sip of condensed milk balanced perfection.
Third, although they don't have pho, they do have hu tieu, which features a lighter, more delicate soup broth, but it is still served with thin, rice noodles. Laced with Vietnamese sausage, large shrimp and thick slices of pork, the hot broth was absolutely lovely, and the noodles nicely tender.
Fourth, the banh mi sandwiches are thickly slathered with pate, which has to be one of the most delectable flavors on earth, right? (Right!)
I tried the #1 (banh mi thit nguoi), which has the Vietnamese cold cuts / headcheese and some barbecued pork. There were plenty of thickly cut, lightly pickled vegetables, quite fresh and crunchy.
I also tried the #8 - grilled pork.
And while the meat ratio was dwarfed by the amount of veggies, the grilled pork comes in large, thick pieces, tender with its sweet/savory marinade that's tinged with notes of lemongrass.
These sandwiches are definitely some of the most flavorful ones I have had since being in New York. I seriously wish I could brush my teeth with their pate (and then makeout with boys...omgsogrossbutawesome!). The bread is ridiculously crunchy though, so one must pace themselves while enjoying these to avoid ripping one's beautiful mouth with jagged shards of French bread, though I'd say it'd be worth it all the same.
Han's Nonsensical Rating: Sometimes all I want is a taste of home up here in New York, and Ba Xuyen truly provides such a comfort. Make friends with people with cars and get down here right away ! (And then make them stop by IKEA!)
Ba Xuyen is a restaurant serving Vietnamese style sandwiches. The avocado shake is a must try. If you're looking for a moderately spicy sandwich, they won't you serve you food that's too spicy or too bland. The sandwiches are large and inexpensive, perfect for lunch. The menu doesn't have a lot on it that would appeal to vegetarians.
The atmosphere here is casual, take out style. It has a bakery feel to it, with not a lot of seating inside. It's a hole in the wall, with old decor that really lends itself to the feeling of authenticity. You won't feel like you're in a 5 star restaurant when you walk through the door, but you'll keep money in your pocket if you give it a try.
Service at Ba Xuyen is what you'd expect from a take out restaurant. the women who work here are pleasant. They speak Vietnamese, Cambodian Chinese and English, so you don't need to feel out of sorts if English is your primary language. Service is reported to be fast, again making this a great place to stop for lunch.