If you do nothing else in Saigon, you must have “the” sandwich.Â
I can’t take credit for finding this, as it has already been well-discussed and well described by several foodie blogs including eGullet (which I use alot), and NoodlepieÂ (fantastic archives on Vietnamese food).
This sandwich is absolutely transcendent — a certifiable “Holy Cow!” moment.Â I cannot recall ever having a better commercially available sandwich — anywhere, anytime.Â Of course, your mileage may vary, but it’s hard to imagine any person who doesn’t despise pork, cilantro or BBQ sauce not loving it.
The chef operates a stand, outside of residential alley, with a small charcoal grill on the curb.Â The sandwich comes wrapped in a piece of paper (oftentimes an old phone bill or receipt) secured with a rubber band.Â Pull up a plastic step stool as a seatÂ in the alley, watch that the passing motos don’t run over your feet, buy a water next door (for the same price as the sandwich itself), and dig in.
They are not large –Â I had 2,Â Andy had 3, and it wasn’t a disgusting pig-out.
There’s nothing to “order” — it’s the only item for sale.
A couple of notes at variance with the Noodlepie blog post:
(1) The price is now 10,000 dong (approximately 55 cents).
(2) She sets up well before 5:30 p.m. — we went at 2:00 and she wasn’t there and came back at 3:45 and she was in full swing.
(3) By 8:00 p.m., she was done for the day (our first attempt was unsuccessful).
Finally, be sure you are at 37 Nguyen Trai in DistrictÂ One — there’s at least one other 37 Nguyen Trai (we didn’t make that mistake but easily could have).
All I can say is, “You’re welcome.”