Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bai Cha 10-21-2010


Location: 710 9th Ave.
Time: 12:30pm

Feelings: While I was away on maternity leave, a Banh Mi shop opened up a few blocks from my work. It is about time the banh mi invasion appears in Hell's Kitchen. The businessmen of Midtown love their sandwiches, casually saying, "I'm just going to run out and get some sammich." It is almost as if they try to prove their masculinity by this statement and food choice. They devour meat and bread with their hands. They love sandwiches and can be quite particular about them. A banh mi shop is destined to succeed in this atmosphere.

Bai Cha is a take out friendly joint that serves not only banh mi but also South Asian street food such as roti and papaya salad. As I suspected, I was the only female among businessmen ready for their sammich. I ordered today's special, which was Tofu with Lemongrass ($5.50).

I understand that the meat is the star of banh mi, and I probably have no place critiquing this when I don't eat meat. But my tofu version was not something I would call banh mi. The carrots were not pickled, and there was not enough fish sauce. However, the lack of vinegar and fish sauce is probably a good thing for midtown workers who often eat their lunch at the cubes. You would not want to be that guy who stinks up the office with the fish and vinegar smell. I am not sure if this was their intention, but their version of banh mi would suffice while letting me maintain a good lunch etiquette at work.

2 comments:

Jenn said...

Adam and I had the worst bahn mi ever at this place called Mangez avec Moi here in Tribeca. Horrible. The best thing was the bread. Some people who open bahn mi shops don't really have a concept of the dish and think they can just slap the elements together and "presto" you've got a Vietnamese sammich. Ah well. Stick with the tride and true ones.

Yosh O. said...

they should rename that place ne manquez pas avec moi!