Num Pang’s Batali Pang Gets Us Excited For the Next Celebrity Sandwich
As posted last month (and printed here in the store), Cambodian Sandwich shop Num Pang started serving the Batali Pang last month, a special sandwich designed by Molto Mario himself. Served only until March 15th, the proceeds from the sandwich sales go to a Cambodian children’s charity and the Food Bank. With less than ten days left before the sandwich is gone forever, I stopped in to check it out.
Right off the bat, the Batali Pang doesn’t look particularly different from the other sandwiches at Num Pang. The football-shaped bun spills over with shredded and pickled carrots, cucumbers, cilantro and chili mayo. This isn’t a bad thing – I’ve been a fan of their offerings since my first visit to their original downtown location, years ago.
What’s different is the addition of three discs of Italian cotecchino sausages and slivers of Cacio de Roma cheese. The sausages, made by sister food operation, Brooklyn Bangers, is quite similar to those served at the Eataly roof bar, Birreria, but for a fraction of the price. Mark that in the plus column.
The cheese was fairly inconsequential, barely noticeable in the cacophony of flavors and textures that come together here. This may have been partially my fault, as I instinctively added sriracha, which along with the chili mayo may have drowned out the more subtle Italian flavors.
Still, while the individual parts of the sandwich work, I don’t know if I love them all together. The Italian parts don’t really add anything to the Cambodian parts and vice versa. The idea is good, but I can’t say that I’d order it again over one of the standard sandwiches they’ve got – or over one of the sandwiches Brooklyn Bangers sells regularly at The Brooklyn Flea.
Based on the initial announcement, it looks like this is the first in a series of visiting chefs’ special sandwiches. While this wasn’t all I’d hoped for and more, I’ll definitely stay tuned for the next one. I’d love to see one in the future coming from a cuisine with more powerful flavors – Mexican or Indian, maybe?
Num Pang, 140 East 41st Street, (212) 867-8889