Mario Batali’s Banh Mi at Num Pang: Interesting


Here it is, in all its mayo-oozing, pickled-vegetable glory.

When I read in Eater about Mario Batali’s new sandwich offering at Cambodian sandwich shop Num Pang, I was on my bike and furiously peddling over there. I found a knot of supplicants around the walk-up window, almost all of them waiting for their Batali pang.

In the messy insides, you can make out sausage, cheese, caramelized onions, cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots, and spicy mayo.

The sandwich is priced at $9.75 (plus tax), of which $6 goes to charities that include the NYC Food Band and Cambodian Children’s Fund. Batali’s unique contribution to this Southeast Asian sandwich is the use of Italian ingredients: Cacio di Roma cheese and sausage of indeterminate composition, specifically.

I thoroughly enjoyed my sandwich, even though the sausage didn’t taste very Italian. The slices were crisp and porky, nonetheless. The cheese, offered in very thin slices, made a nice backdrop to the Southeast Asian flavors. Not my favorite pang at Num Pang (as they call their banh mi sandwiches), but a nice addition to the menu. If only some greasy fennel sausage had been used, and more cheese!

Num Pang
21 East 12th Street

The scene outside