I get daily emails from Grubstreet, Eater and a ton of other websites devoted to keeping up on the latest in NYC food happenings. Yet somehow I was unaware of Num Pang, a gourmet bahn mi shop, with several locations around the city. Fortunately, when I picked up Edible Manhattan (checkout the article on the NYU Urban Farm Lab), I discovered the profile on this delicious sandwich shop. The review was so glowing, we had to try one right away. Plus, it was a teaser for our upcoming trip to Vietnam!
Rarely do I believe the hype, but this time, it was justified. The Times Square location had a line almost out the door before noon on a Saturday. It moved slowly, but we got our sandwiches quickly. Kyle and I shared two of the special sandwiches — brisket and pork belly. We had a hard time deciding which one was better. The rolls were fresh — soft but with a nice crust. The inside was packed with meat. Overall, it was a great sandwich and decently priced at under $10 — unless you compare them to more traditional bahn mi. But those usually have a lot of veggies, a piece of bologna and minimal pork — certainly not BBQ pork belly.
But the coolest part was paying for the sandwich with my iPhone – and saving $3 off the first use after downloading Num Pang’s new app. Too bad they don’t let you order the sandwiches too. Then you could bypass the line, which would make the whole experience even better.
Tip: Take advantage of the free water if dining in, though seating is limited. The NoMad location also offers beer and has Happy Hours.
Rating: Two Forks*
* Four Forks Rating System
No Forks: Don’t waste your time.
One Fork: Ok, but nothing to write home about.
Two Forks: Solid forkful. Worth the money.
Three Forks: A meal you’ll remember in a good way. Fork-tastic.
Four Forks: Out of this world. Won’t be able to put your fork down.