Mario Batali's Banh Mi at Num Pang: Interesting
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.
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!
21 East 12th Street
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