Lunch At Vietnamese Sandwiches: Just As Good As The Shop’s Name
I had one of the weirder lunching experiences I’ve had in the Financial District at the recently-opened Vietnamese Sandwiches on Pearl St. (btw. Pine & Wall). Some of you had weighed in with reports of long waits and mediocre sandwiches. With Baoguette in the general vicinity, a branch of Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches about to open, the Banh Mi Cart, and Chinatown not too far away that doesn’t make this places’ chances of survival too great. What it does have going for it is slightly better prices than the competition and you get a free soda until the end of the month. So, what made this such a strange lunching experience? Find out after the jump.
I walked in and there were about four people waiting for sandwiches in the small shop that just seems hastily thrown together. There are three table, but plenty of room for more and the decorations on the walls were pictures of sandwiches (oh, if only I’d taken a photo of their photos!). There was one guy making sandwiches behind the counter and it seemed like he was making do with a toaster oven as his heating implement. It was also dead quiet in there, making it awkward for those of us waiting for food.
There are eight sandwiches on the menu and all are $6, including tax. This makes it an especially great deal, but I agree with lunch’er ColonelCasey who said that people might stop coming here once the free soda deal is over. I went with the BBQ pork baguette, although it was a tough choice between that and the Vietnamese meatball. They also have the pork roll and pate model, grilled chicken, buffalo chicken, roast beef and a few others. Other than drinks, they only sell sandwiches, so if you’re looking for a summer roll or something, you’re out of luck.
The sandwich is about the same size as at Baoguette, but doesn’t seem to have as much filling which I guess is maybe why it’s slightly cheaper.
The BBQ pork was not pretty to look at and was on the dry side, but it tasted good. There was a lot of pickled carrot and radish on top and some cucumber spears. I asked for it spicy, which meant it was full of jalapeno. This leads me to one complaint, which is that there was no bottles of hot sauce anywhere in the place. I would have much appreciated some sriracha sitting on the front counter or a couple of the tables to squirt on if I choose. It also would have helped with the dryness. The second complaint was that I asked for them to go light on the mayo, which apparently means no mayo at all. Maybe they just forgot?
I did like the bread, which was appropriately crusty, and I also appreciated that they cut the sandwich in half, which some places don’t do. I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here since a) it’s cheap, but the sandwiches are not mind blowing, and b) I can get the catfish sandwich from the Baoguette near my office for a couple of dollars more. Or there’s always a subway lunch: taking the subway up to Chinatown to finally try out Saigon banh mi, not actually eating at Subway.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- It’s $6, including tax, and you get a free soda until the end of July.
- It’s by my office.
THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- The sandwiches are pretty mediocre and a little on the dry side.
- If there are people in line ahead of you, you’re going to be waiting in awkward silence for a while to get your food.
Vietnamese Sandwiches, 164 Pearl St. (btw. Pine & Wall), (212) 952-1699