Midtown Happy Hour: Xie Xie is the Perfect Snack to Kick Off a 9th Ave. Pub Crawl
If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so I thought maybe it was time to introduce a happy hour column to the site. Every week, our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” posts about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap. This week she visits Xie Xie, the great new Angelo Sosa owned sandwich shop on 9th Ave.
Zach did a full review of Xie Xie when it first opened, but it was only recently that they added a happy hour special to their menu. For $5 dollars, from 3 to 7pm, you get a bottle of “33” Export Vietnamese beer with a choice of one bun: Shredded Braised Chicken, BBQ Beef, or Sweet Glazed Pork. I’ve wanted to check out Xie and this was the perfect opportunity to try the food without having to committing to ordering a full sandwich. Plus it’s right next to Rudy’s, our favorite dive bar, so if one hot bun doesn’t do it for you, you can always wrap your lips around a free wiener later.
At first glance Xie Xie wasn’t what I expected. It was tiny and looked like a European café and a hip deli all in one. The service is remarkably friendly. I showed up at 6pm and there were only a few people eating so the chef made small talk with us while we waited for a friend to show up. Once ready, we started off with 3 beers and 3 buns (one pork, one chicken and one beef.) Our buns came out in a cute wooden box that was lined with the Xie Xie graphic waxed paper. On each table was a bottle of hot sauce that tasted just like Sriracha —which I love and it made for the perfect spicy match to the sweet and salty meat.
The beef was the winner of the trio. It was falling apart tender and not sickly sweet like the pork. I have to say though; those buns went down faster then the fall of Saigon in â€˜75. Three swallows and that beef one was done. With my friends appetites piqued, we ordered another round of beers and buns. Surprisingly, the second BBQ beef bun I ordered came with a dollop of pesto mayo. Now you all know I hate mayo, but this was pesto infused and I actually liked it. Quite nice in small doses, but I wonder if pesto-mayo usually comes with the buns or if it was a random addition to snazzy up our second order?
Now, I like big buns and I cannot lie, so I think most Midtown Luncher’s like me are going to leave Xie Xie hungry if they only do the happy hour special. The best approach is to think of this as a snack before heading home or a starting point to an evening out on the town. Enjoy!
Xie Xie, 645A 9th Ave. (btw. 45+46th), 212-265-2975