I love sandwiches to an embarrassing extent. They are compact and deeply satisfying; making a great one requires an understanding of the delicate nature of balance and portion in food. Also, holy jesus, are they delicious.
But sandwiches get a bad rap from time to time, especially when people try to up the ante on what is essentially food to go. Jezalin’s Gourmet Market in the Flatiron District recently introduced a $40 sandwich made of straight jamon Iberico from Spain – and little else. Apparently eating it is like gnawing through excess. Oh hell no, Jezalin, take your shitty overpriced gimmick of a sandwich and shove it… shit like this makes me furious. There are better, less ridiculous things to eat on this earth.
That’s why I love Hanco’s, the Vietnamese sandwich shop around the corner from my apartment, so much. The sandwiches there, all riffs on the classic Banh Mi, are probably the best I have eaten in any borough: the dark thigh meat of the chicken version is juicy and provides a great savory foil to the snap and crunch of pickled daikon and carrot . They serve a traditional egg yolk soda that is as densely rich as any dessert you could imagine. And food aside, the shop is unassuming and sparse, the kitchen open, the employees unpretentious. And it’s inexpensive – five bucks or so for the greatest sandwich of your life.
85 Bergen St., (at Smith St.)
[Boerum Hill, Brooklyn]