Abigail Cahill O'Brien

Num Pang Quells Tum Pangs

In Food on September 16, 2009 at 10:31 pm


Don’t get me wrong.  I love my big suburban kitchen.  But I miss the sheer variety of quality food that was previously at my fingertips in New York, without me lifting a paring knife.  So when visiting I devolve into a flavor-crazed food zombie, planning my days around my favorites haunts.  “Museums?  But we’ll starve up there!”

And that’s why you’ll find me tucking into a Cambodian sandwich at Num Pang on a random Tuesday morning (12th St between 5th Ave & University). There’s no line at 11:30, and anyway high noon never comes soon enough when there’s a sweet, salty, crunchy, pickled, spicy wad of heaven in the vicinity. Basically these sandwiches are revelations on a roll. A white semolina roll that greedily sops up any run-away chili mayo. I’ve eaten half the menu and so far prefer the pork.

Quibbling over degrees of ecstasy seems petty, though. They’re all good enough for Food and Wine to dub them Simple Acts of Sandwich Genius, and even adapt an at-home recipe.

Personally, I follow the comfortingly bossy admonition on the menu: “Our sandwiches were created to enjoy as they are, so PLEASE, NO MODIFICATIONS.” Why modify the divine?

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