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.
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!)
4222 8th Ave