East Village Bahn Mi’s?

Num Pang Num Pang, outpost of Cambodian street food favorite Kampuchea is the latest in Bahn Mi sandwich purveyors and right in the heart of the East Village. After opening in late April, the shop appears to be swarmed daily with hungry lunchers looking for their latest fix.  But Num Pang goers beware, there’s not quite enough to go around…

I finally headed over to Num Pang this afternoon to see what all the fuss was all about. After reading numerous reviews claiming their sandwiches were overpriced (for their size), I decided there was only one way to find out. And what I found was is that they were fresh out of ALL of their specials by 1pm sharp! I mean, come on. The menu only has about four choices of sandwiches to begin with, so eliminating additional choices just doesn’t cut it.

After debating between the catfish and shrimp, I decided to go with the shrimp and though I didn’t regret my order, it wasn’t the most satisfying choice. The sandwich overall… okay. Though there were few ingredients the bread and sauce completely overwhelmed the shrimp. The shrimp played the part of celery in a chicken salad sandwich, a mere crunch adding texture to the bread. The ingredients alone…

  • The bread, very tasty and toasted to perfection
  • The shrimp, tender but without coconut flavor
  • The accouterments (cilantro, cucumber, carrot, mayo), refreshing

And the $2.50 blood orange lemonade… tart, refreshing, but wonderful not so much.

Num Pang Coconut Tiger Shrimp

Num Pang Grilled Skirt Steak

So the verdict on Num Pang… try the veal meatballs or the grilled skirt steak. Don’t order the overpriced homemade drinks.

But for a REAL Bahn Mi, head to Saigon Bakery or Baoguette. And please, do yourself a favor and order the Pastrami Pate at Baoguette.

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