>> Num Pang Sandwich Shop | Eat the World NYC

15 May 2009

Num Pang Sandwich Shop


I actually have little to say about Num Pang. It baffles me a bit. It's a decent idea, and obviously caught on favorably with the area, proved daily with its healthy lines.

But as competition for banh mi, it fails on almost every level. First and foremost, you get half the sandwich for twice the price. The peppercorn catfish sandwich ($7.50, below) is tasty enough, but there is absolutely no reason that this actually needs to be a sandwich. The bread is brought over from Parisi Bakery but lacks any attitude. The peppercorns do have a nice bite, while the sweet soy sauce was just so-so.

According to the website, num pang is the Khmer word for either bread or sandwich, but I could have been fooled into thinking it meant rudeness or assembly line. You are certainly not treated as a valued customer, and I wonder how long this business model will actually last, without a smile and full of attempts to up-sell drinks and sides.

For the not-so-hungry man and woman, the place can be satisfying compared to most of the restaurants in the area, but don't bring a big appetite unless you are prepared to buy two sandwiches.

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