i’m sure the vietnamese would agree: there are three categories by which to judge the best banh mi.
the bread with the crispiest crust and the tenderest insides, the spiciest, strangest-textured (but still swallowable!) pate, and the pickled-est, crunchiest veggies are all found in brooklyn’s chinatown. it’s cheap, the red tables are slimy, and vietnamese men with missing fingers sip thick coffee in the sunshine. the spring rolls are .50 and very fried; the summer rolls are fresher. ba xuyen’s peanut butter sauce must be eaten with their coffee.
peep the hong kong supermarket on 8th avenue for iffy fish, phenomenal veg, and pop into any store up and down the block for bulk ginseng and teas for all that ails you.