Num Pang

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meant to post this last night, but the internet was down here! I went about 16 hours without internet and I felt so disconnected from the world, in a bad way. I guess I'm extra attached now because I'm so far away from home and can't be in touch with family and friends without Skype. Anyway! Onwards with Num Pang ...

A week before I left New York, a few of my friends wanted to get together. One of these friends suggested we go to a hole-in-the-wall place in the east 40s called Num Pang. This place has no seats, just stand-up counters lining the walls. It's a very small place, but with very high ceilings and artfully decorated with graffiti-like murals. It's got an interesting atmosphere.

Roasted Yam sandwich

I've never actually had banh mi (a Vietnamese sandwich) before, so I had nothing to compare it to. This place, from what I could tell, put a twist on the banh mi by throwing in some fusion flavor into their sandwich offerings. The night I went, one of the specials was the Roasted Figs sandwich (kadota figs, bacon, chilis; $8.25). They were also offering the Boneless Spare Ribs sandwich (pork spareribs, spicy tamarind glaze; $8.50) and the Roasted Salt & Pepper Japanese Yam sandwich (Swiss Chard and Cipollini onions; $7.25), among others.

I originally wanted the Roasted Figs sandwich, but apparently they were out of that at 4:50pm. So I went with the Roasted Salt & Pepper Japanese Yam sandwich. My dining companion went with the Boneless Spare Ribs sandwich as well as the Roasted Yam sandwich.

I took a bite of hers and it was delicious. I can't remember it well enough to tell you why I thought it was delicious, but it was flavorful. The Roasted Yam sandwich, in comparison, was dry and a little flavorless. I liked it well enough, but not enough to either order it again or want to write home about it.

Boneless Spare Rib sandwich

I've seen a number of people complain in online reviews about the portion size versus prices, but I thought I got a decent deal for what I paid for. I nearly couldn't finish my banh mi because it was quite large, but at the same time, my dining companion devoured two sandwiches in the same amount of time it took me to have one. You be the judge!

Num Pang
21 East 12th Street
140 East 41st Street

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