Two New Sandwiches Hit Midtown Today (Including an $11 Banh Mi!)

Following in the footsteps of Chop’t, FreeFoods NYC (on 45th btw. 5+6th & 52nd btw. Lex+3rd) is introducing their own version of the banh mi today.  Of course “their version” means it’s free range chicken and wildly overpriced.  It comes topped with pickled carrots, toasted peanuts and red chili mayo on a Sullivan Street Bakery baguette. If you thought paying $8 at Boi Sandwich was ridiculous, I can’t imagine how you’ll feel spending $11 on this version of a banh mi. Unless some (rich) early adopters say it’s the greatest sandwich of all time, I don’t think I’ll be breaking the ML price boundaries for this.

Also happening today in the Midtown Lunch sandwich world… Certe (on 55th btw. 5+6th) introduces their June entry to the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge: a beer battered jumbo soft shell crab with bibb lettuce, remoulade sauce on a toasted butter potato roll ($8.95).  Nice.  I love soft shelled crab, so I’m thinking this sandwich will continue the same streak of awesomeness that brought us the Thanksgiving Dip and The Primavera.


  • You can get 3 banh mi’s for that price in Chinatown

  • That softshell crab sandwich sounds AMAZING. Esp in the light of my homely leftovers today.

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    anybody try the soft shell crab yet? wondering if i should head over and get one…

  • Just had it. Seemed small for the price. I guess it’ll slide for being softshell crab. It wasn’t crunchy at all, which was a major bummer, but it was also in the container for 15 mins by the time I ate it. The sauce was money, and there was a side of Tabasco for some zing. I enjoyed it, but I probably wouldn’t get it again. Worth trying.

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    I miss the days where a Banh Mi cost $2 (in CA/TX)

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    thanks sir eats-a-lot… actually didn’t go with it after reading your take on it… might try it sometime this week…

  • Hardly a rich early adopter here, but hunger and impulse tend to rule so I just tried the FF banh mi. It is, as expected, pretty much the opposite of a midtown lunch. $11 and about the size of a stapler (not big). The chicken was really pretty gross. Fat in pork or beef = good. Fat in chicken = nasty (imo). There were a few delicious bites here and there simply b/c of the flavors involved and the bread was great. But I’m not sure I’d recommend it even if it were half the price.

  • Dammit Zach, it’s **Cer Te**. (Crap, I can’t get the accent thing working.)

    $11 for a tiny crapfest of a “Banh Mi”? Was the bread even crusty? Doesn’t look like it from the photo.

    Why is this Freefoods joint even on ML? The go against everything that ML stands for. (Cheap, affordable and filling lunches!) C’mon Zach, get out of their pocket. Freefoods is NOT a Midtown Lunch joint by any stretch, despite their token efforts. Keep it real.

  • OK i love banh mis, but $11 is way overpriced for something that is essentially street food. much better idea to hold off and head down to chinatown for a proper sammich.

    our fave spot:


  • What I got didn’t look remotely like the one in the picture (is that supposed to be the one from FF?) But yes the bread was crusty, probably the best part.

    I don’t mind FF being on ML since it’s right across the street from my office and have been happy with their other offerings (taste wise). But I agree that they don’t technically belong.

  • Banh Mi is not the same without mystery pate.

  • Just had it .. I agree w/sir eats-a-lot, it is tiny & tasty, but not worth the price. I won’t get this again unless it is 2X for the same price. If your in the mood for soft-shelled crab, call Cafe Duke @ 51st to see if they have it in the salad/food bar and you can get 3 times the crab for the same price as the latest Cer té offering.

  • $11 bucks for banh mi is outrageous. Booooooo!

  • Clearly Frefood s is not a Midtown Lunch. Zach, please delete this posting in its entirety.

  • I tried the Free Foods sandwich today. It’s good, but not great. The chicken is nice, but not as tender as you would expect from Free Foods and a free range bird. The flavors were outstanding as usual. I like the sandwich, but $11 is a bit over priced.

    Free Foods makes a great Strawberry Macaroon. It’s $2.50 and more than worth it.

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