Saturday, January 4, 2014

South East Asian Findings in NYC So Far

If you read my other blog, you might get a better understanding of why South East Asia carries so much memories to me. The food, the sights, and the people are amazing. Moreover, with this wintry weather here in the States, I'd rather be there. Anyhow, since work schedule and other priorities haven't allowed me to do so, good authentic food from their land will do for now. These are what I've found so far, and I'm pretty sure there will be more good ones coming in the near future.

Num Pang Sandwich Shop

This is by far the holiest hole in the wall that I've been to since I moved to the greater NY area. It took me 3x walking back and forth down the block until I found the tiny #21 sign sticked at the door. Don't give up if you don't find it the first try. At a glance, it looks more like a very shady convenient store.

No, some cons of this place:

1) It's a cash-only establishment. They don't take any cards
2) Space (the downstair "order&pay" area, the circular stairwell, and the upstairs seating) is very bad for claustrophobic people. I had a bad childhood experience with circular stairwell, so it turned me off
3) All the sandwiches are served as is. They don't take any modification

Anyhow, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed my sweet pulled duroc pork sandwich. The cilantro and julienne carrot are what makes it so South East Asian. It reminds me of the baguette sandwiches I typically had for lunch while traveling in Cambodia, even though the baguettes were slightly longer back there. If I'm not mistaken, the baguettes here are baked by Parisi Bakery, which is the king of Italian sandwiches Little Italy.

Pongsri Thai Restaurant

This is another hole in the wall. Located in the little "Vietnamese" pocket of Chinatown, I would never know the existence of this place if I didn't walk the wrong way and found it one time.

It's definitely a good spot to people-watch if you get a window seating. The service totally reflects Thailand as a very warm and hospitable land with beautiful smiles. I ordered vegetable Pad Ke Moy and told the server that I like it super spicy. They understood exactly the level of Thai-spicy that I was craving for.

Since mango sticky rice gets so overrated, I was opting for something new for dessert. Boy, all the dessert items here are still related to sticky rice, so oh well, custard sticky rice was it. Presentation-wise, it could have been better (as in the custard shouldn't be breaking apart).


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