My first time: after months of reading about Bahn Mi in the food sections of various magazines, I finally tried one this Saturday. It was fantastic.
Bahn Mi are Vietnamese sandwiches (my Vietnamese friend, Mr. Ngo, actually told me that Bahn Mi simply translates to bread; however magazines use the term to refer to the sandwiches). Most consist of warm french bread filled with thin slices of ham or other meats and pickled veggies. I hadn’t heard of a place that made a vegetarian version of this swine-centric delight. But moving in with Anthony has benefits: he’s a vegan and an expert at finding vegetarian versions of many cuisines. He told me about Nicky’s.
Nicky’s is small, but not such a hole-in-the-wall, as Yelp reviewers led me to believe. It’s clean inside, and quite large compared to a real hole-in-the-wall (like Punjab Deli on Crosby Street). A flat screen TV high up on a wall plays the Simpsons.
The menu has about 5 different versions of this sandwich: one with chicken, a few with pork and pate, and one vegetarian, starring portabello mushrooms. My sandwich was ready in about 8 minutes. Slivers of smoky portabello, bright pickled carrots and sweet cucumber were nestled inside the toasted bread. A light brushing of mayo coated the inside of the bread, providing a soft and creamy contrast to the tart carrots. A generous sprinkling of cilantro added a fragrant seasoning. Each bite was a taste bud and texture dance party. It’s the best $4 sandwich I’ve had in a long time.
Just like the Eggplant Exploration, I’m going to conduct a Bahn Mi exploration. Best one, here I come. If you any suggestions, let me know! Mm.
Nicky’s is at 150 E. 2nd street, near Avenue A. It is open till 9.