Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sandweak the Womp Womp Wompwich from Pal's Takeaway

$8, The Almost Banh Mi (chicken, yogurt, cilantro, pickled onions, chilis etc on a French roll)

2751 24th Street at Hampshire

Let me first say that I was very excited about Pal's. It's a new little two-man counter operation inside a liquor store on the 24th St., and apart from the fresh high quality ingredients (meats from Fatted Calf, Becker Lane and Riverdog, and farm fresh veggies, etc.) I just like the cuttiness of the spot and the entrepreneurial spirit. That being said, this sandwich was some straight-up doo-doo. Right off the bat I noticed it was served at room temp, and was a little small. I'm used to Saigon Sandwiches, the gold standard for banh mis in the city, and those feel like a hot little football under my arm on the way back to the office; Pal's felt like a football too, but one of those tiny knockoff Nerf ones that are impossible to spiral with. Boo. Let's move on to flavor: The good news is, this tasted just lke something my mom would make. The bad news is, my mom can't cook for shit. Every ingredient on this thing was supposedly sourced from a sustainable, organic local farm, yet there was a serious lack of flavor, owing in large part to stinginess with sauce, toppings and all-around unjuiciness. There's really no excuse for that--even when I make myself a sandwich shitfaced at 3 in the morning, I am careful to apply an appropriate amount of sauce, and if I add some little goodies like pepperocinis, olives or sun-dried tomatoes (if I'm getting fancy), I make sure that those too are in the right proportion. STEP YOUR GAME UP.
I was pretty bummed because I went clear across town to get this fucker and brought it back to my desk like a little treasure, only to have my heart broken. I didn't even finish it, which is rare for me--when I go to Saigon Sandwiches I always get two banh mis and take them both down without stopping to breathe. So, listen up, "Pal": I like what you are trying to do with the artisan ingredients, original recipes and speakeasy steez, but you need to get your shit together before you try and get up in this here sandwich game. We will eat you alive.

1 out of 5 Bootsy Bourgeoisie Banh Mi Bummers

The Cold Cutter

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