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Preface: Umamiventure #11: Banh Mi Crawl, Pt. 1 (Ba Xuyen)

Kayoko: They added ground bbq pork here in their combo #1, which added a nice sweetness cut by the ass-kicking jalapeño. A very well-formulated, balanced sandwich.

Michelle: Thanh Da was pretty good, but felt a little less fresh as far as the ingredients. I thought they overdid it on the spiciness and that the chili peppers totally overwhelmed the flavor of the sandwiches.
Kayoko: They used sardines in tomato sauce here for the sardine sandwich, which was shaped into the bread while still warm. The oozy, tomatoey heat presented very unique, razzledazzle flavors. But if hard-pressed, I think I liked the clean lines (sans tomato) of Ba Xuyen's sardine sandwich more.

Michelle: Of all the sandwiches at Thanh Da, I thought the sardine was the best - the sardines were very meaty, saucy and flavorful.
Michelle: Oh, and what was up with the neon pink meatballs?
Tyson: Thanh Da was a little disappointing: the neon-pink meatballs (apparently the last of the meatball sandwiches for that day) were juicy (i.e. oozing fluid) but not that flavorful. They had almost a luncheon-meat taste, but the pickles and bread were solid. The hot peppers were of the thick-cut jalapeno variety, alas. This place also had great iced coffee and lemonade.

Amy Ann: Meatball sandwich at the second place. Disappointment. I had heard they were out of the meatball and I got anxious my order wasn't going to be filled, so when I found out that mine was the last meatball sandwich, I was so excited I nearly peed. But it wasn't that good. Neon pink, so I thought that meant it would be bursting with flavor, like Bubblicious or something, but no! alas! it was surprisingly bland. It was underseasoned and the meat was pretty soft. All in all, I got blue balls from it. I was all worked up and then let down. Not worth it, don't get the meatball. The coffee here was strong and good, it'll put hair on your chest!

Kayoko: The chicken was suprisingly one helluva memorable sandwich. I still think about this often and refer to it when talking about chicken or sandwiches in general. Shredded white meat chicken all peppered up-- you see those bits of black pepper dusted over the chicken? Crackical. It was the perfect combination with the crunch of the pickled carrots and daikon, the cucumber, and herbiness of the cilantro. The bread was fantastic too.

Kayoko: BBQ pork sandwich was a little too sweet for my taste, but I'm no purist- I like the different textures and flavors of the combo, which is what I invariably always order. However, I did like Paystyle's bbq/grilled pork sandwich from Ba Xuyen better than this one.

Paystyle: I tried the Salted Plum drink, and I feel the same way about this that I felt about the Pickled Lemon drink: glad I tried it but wouldn't get it again.

Jud-san: At all places, the lemonade was delicious and refreshing and not too sweet.

At this point, people started to fill up, and some even contemplated cutting out. Oh, hell no! Paystyle urged everyone on. 2 more stops to go. NEXT!

Thanh Da I
6008 Seventh Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
T: 718.492.3253

Please join us for our next Umamiventure! Join the Umami Mart FACEBOOK group to stay updated on these monthly trips, where we burrow deep into the crevices of NYC for unique, cheap eats.
Column: Umamiventure


  • Part of the thing was eat to split it—Tyson and I shared the last meatball sandwich and the disappointment. Part of it is to know that sometimes, you just got to take one for Team Gluttony and eat as many sandwiches as you can (which for me isn’t enough—I’m not up to my training weight anymore. I really fell off after two half sandwiches. The shame, the shame!). I mean, how often do you get the siren call of a Sandwich Crawl? Once in a lifetime, my friends.

    amy ann on

  • I’m curious to know your strategy as to how you ate all of these sandwiches…did you just have a few bites and quit to save room for the next stop? I’m not sure I would’ve had the willpower.

    Hamamama on

  • yeah some of us shared, some of us just bit off of other people’s sandwich (guess who?), and some just bought different sandwiches, ate half, and put the other half in their bags to eat the next day.

    they made excellent snacks to accompany the Olympics, starring Michael Phelps.

    kayoko on

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