Banh Mi Cart Revises Menu And Prices, But Has Sandwich Construction Down

There was a huge amount of excitement last year when word came that a cart selling banh mi was coming to the Financial District. Longs lines ensued. Really long lines. Well, the No. 1 Banh Mi Cart is still down here, at Pearl St. and Hanover to be exact. Prices are up $1 since Daniel visited and the menu is different. There’s also a giant picture of summer rolls on the side for identification purposes.

I had gone to lunch a little late, and was actually going to another destination that happened to not have the dish I was looking for. Yes, the dirty little secret of how I pick some of my lunches is out: extreme hunger and short lines can make me eat just about anywhere that’s not a generic deli or salad place if it’s in the vicinity.

They were out of a lot of the sandwiches when I got there. (I thought about asking for a No. 2 or 8 from the menu above, just to see what I got.) The only menu items remaining from when Daniel reviewed the cart were the special banh mi, the vegetarian and the pan fried beef.

The girl working there tried to push the regular banh mi and the teriyaki chicken on me, but I wasn’t feeling either one of those. After finding out they were out of roasted eel, I went with the shrimp baguette ($6).

I asked for it spicy, and it didn’t disappoint. There were several things this sandwich has going for it over the kind served at Baoguette. First of all, they don’t put an entire bush of cilantro in there, and instead just put a few leaves in here and there. The ratio of pickled carrot and cucumber to meat is also much better. I also didn’t miss the other pickled vegetables that are sometimes put in.

The shrimp were the large kind and they were delicious. For $6, I felt like they put a decent amount of seafood in there. This is not going to edge out the catfish sandwich from Baoguette in my list of go-to lunches, but it’s close.

No. 1 Banh Mi Cart, corner of Pearl St. and Hanover



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