Mooncake Foods Has A Fancy Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich For When Chinatown Is Too Far

I know many of you who work in the far reaches of Soho or the upper part of Tribeca by the Holland Tunnel probably frequent Mooncake Foods on Watts (btw. Thompson & 6th Ave.) because there’s not much else in the area other than a couple of Latin luncheonettes and some street meat carts. I however, had never made it there for lunch despite hearing nothing but good things about its food. The other day I was looking for an excuse to leave the Financial District for lunch, and what do you know, the Vietnamese pork meatball hero ($8) at Mooncake called my name.

The sandwich is essentially a banh mi, although they probably avoided calling it that to not incur the wrath of those who would nitpick it apart since there are seeds on the roll and no mayo in sight. Otherwise, there’s pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, four good-sized meatballs and a smear of spicy sauce on the bottom. They also give you a container of green sauce on the side that tastes pretty close to the crack-like stuff they serve at Sophie’s Cuban.

The meatballs are on the sweet side and while not dry aren’t greasy either. They go well with the toppings and the nicely toasted roll that encases them. I realize the sandwich is a couple of dollars more than what you’re going to pay for a banh mi in Chinatown, but that would mean walking at least a few blocks over which in the winter or during a limited lunch break isn’t ideal. I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong with many of the sandwiches at Mooncake Foods, and this meatball one is no exception. I could really go for another one right now.

Mooncake Foods, 28 Watts St. (btw. Thompson & 6th Ave.), (212) 219-8888


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