Ever since I visited Vietnam, and then worked round the corner from London's Kêu, I have been obsessed with bánh mì. Something about that crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle baguette, the rich, roasted meat, the tangy, lightly-pickled veggies, and the hot, hot chili has me oooh-ing and aaaah-ing after every bite.
New York Sunday afternoons are best spent exploring a far-flung neighborhood, hunting out a niche meal. We've done this with baklava, whiskey, fried chicken, barbecue, and, of course, dumplings, to name a few. Bánh mì was next on the list.
A sunny day on the top of Sunset Park has the most magnificent views of Manhattan. Once you've climbed to the top, soaked up the blue skies, the seemingly endless sprawling city, and given your legs a break, it's high time for lunch. Stroll down the other side of the hill, into the residential streets of Sunset Park, and keep winding until you arrive at Ba Xuyên.
Pick a bánh mì from the pictures at the front, and in anywhere between five and 20 minutes you'll have a giant sandwich in your hands. Crisp, crumbling baguette crust spills all over your lap when you bite into it. It gives way to the soft white bread, and underneath that, you'll find roughly chopped, deeply flavored meat, sweet, lightly pickled julienned veggies, bunches of fresh cilantro, and the occasional spicy chili pepper. It's rich, satisfying, and immensely craveable. The combination ingredients, and crazy affordable price, makes it well worth trekking to Sunset Park for your Sunday lunch.