Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Chinatown Project - Day 4 - Sau Voi Cafe

Day 4 found me missing the morning session of Jury Duty. I had a prior commitment and our great Clerk George let me miss the morning session. I promised to be back by 2pm for the afternoon session. Things ran late and I popped out of the subway across from 60 Center Street at 1:40 pm. I had twenty minutes to get lunch and get to the jury room.

My options seemed extremely limited. Either get a sandwich at Starbucks or go old school and get a dirty water dog for lunch. I thought about getting a dog in honor of Jerry Orbach but decided to make a quick check of anything else close. Tasty Dumpling and Fried Dumpling were too far away. I thought all was lost until I noticed something that looked promising a few blocks north on Lafayette. I hustled up Lafayette and walked right past Sau Voi Corp.

I checked the address and found myself in front of what looked like a corner grocery with lotto, cigarettes and the usual soda and chips offerings. I stepped in and instead I was confronted with bins full of Vietnamese Pop CDs and DVDs of Vietnamese movies. Then I realized that tucked in the corner, behind the door was a tiny food counter selling Banh Mis and a few other Vietnamese dishes. There were three friendly Vietnamese women behind the counter taking orders and making the food. I ordered the Bahn Mi Pate Gio then hustled back to the juror room just in time.

For the uninitiated a Bahn Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich. It usually contains some kind of meat along with vegetables. The Pate Gio I ordered featured ham and Vietnamese Pate with pickled daikon radish, carrots, cucumbers and cilantro. Meaty, sharp, and bright, it was one of the best Bahn Mi sandwiches I have had. One more thing. The Bahn Mi was $4.00. Let me be clear. The Bahn Mi Pate Gio you see above was $4.00. In New York City. This may be the single best food bargain in NYC.

I promised I would not repeat a lunch spot during the Chinatown Project and I will not. That does not mean I can't hit Sau Voi Cafe on the way home and stock up on a few Bahn Mi for dinner.  Any Vietnamese Pop recommendations?

Sau Voi Cafe - 101-105 Lafayette Steet, on the corner of Walker Street (inside Sau Voi Corp)


  1. Very well written article. It will be helpful to everyone who employee it, including me. Keep up the good work - can't wait to read more posts
    Digilocker@Services Portal

  2. Here is what you should read to get rid of writers block in a moment!