April in Paris, banh mi in blossom

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Paris Sandwich

I wish I could remember how I stumbled on it, but I recently found RK Chin’s excellent list of all the various banh mi joints in town. On the list, I saw the recently opened Paris Sandwich, and I was intrigued enough to send my husband off to track it down.

Well, it was so good I made him go back again a couple days later. And, realizing it had been quite some time since I did a restaurant review, here’s the resulting photo spread:

banh mi (with meatballs)

First, banh mi with meatballs (exterior).

You can see they’re pretty generous with the vegetables, but they just lack the pickled snap of the vegetables in my favorite banh mi from A Chau Deli. (Ed. note: this post originally had all the correct accents, but they went haywire.)

meatball up close

And now, the banh mi with meatballs (interior). I haven’t had a meatball banh mi before, so I don’t have much to compare it to. Anyway, not great, but still pretty good.

Right after that photographed bite, I got a couple bites with chilies in them. I’m not a spicy food pansy, but goddamn, this was OW OW OW OMG MAKE IT STOP hot.

OMG PEPPERS SO HOT

After I picked the last peppers out and polished off that half a sandwich, I moved onto the barbecued pork one.

banh mi with BBQ pork

Oh, yeah; that’s what I’m talking about.

The BBQ pork is a little sweet, chewy, a little smoky — a perfect contrast to the vegetables and bread. And speaking of the bread, it’s excellent. It’s smaller than what I’ve gotten elsewhere, but it’s crispy without shredding the roof of your mouth (something Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches could stand to learn) and extremely fresh; definitely the best on that score.

As good as all that is, the thing that will keep me coming back to Paris Sandwich? The desserts. Last time, I had banana with coconut milk and cream puffs, both of which I recommend. This time…

eclair

Eclairs. Pretty good ones, in fact. You can see they’re not filled with the usual cream; it was… well, I don’t know what it was, but it was kind of coffee flavored. I still prefer the regular cream, but this was good.

surprisingly good flan

I have to say, I generally don’t like flan. It’s too sweet, or too eggy, or both, but this was fantastic: sweet, not overwhelming, not too eggy, perfect.

The only not-so-good thing: the salted lemonade.

salted lemonade

I think this was mostly due to the fact that I was expecting fresh lemons with salt and I think these were preserved lemons, which had a very different flavor from what I was expecting. Also, when asked if he wanted it with sugar or without, my husband opted for for the latter, which, in retrospect, was not the right answer.

Oh, and I think this is ingenious — the back of their business card is a map of how to get there:

in case you get lost

Paris Sandwich on Urbanspoon

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6 Comments

  1. YUM! We can’t get bánh mì easily in lowly Baltimore.

    I love that business card. Such a Manhattan thing to do.

  2. I should really develop this into its own post, but my husband and I were obsessed with bánh mì after we heard (I think) a ‘This American Life’ piece on them, and it took a couple years before we found out where we could go to actually eat one.

  3. That bread looks perfect. I want to go just for that!

  4. Their baked goods are really great. They also sell these… waffles, I guess, that I think are made with coconut milk. They’re fantastic.

  5. Pingback: surprisingly good flan on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

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