A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in TriBeCa, reporting for the very first time for jury duty. I found myself actually looking forward to it; I’d never done it before and it was a chance to do something a little different on a workday. I got to walk a whole new path to my destination, and I got to revisit my old high school stomping grounds for lunch.
That first day of jury duty was itself unremarkable but for the long lunch break we were granted. Though the official lunch hours were 1 – 2, by noon it became obvious that the judges were not going to be calling anybody, and we were told that we were free to go and be back by two. Now, if I’d had a mere hour to procure my lunch, I’d have made a decision lickety-split and been done with it. That I found myself with two hours made the decision that much tougher. It was also excessively gorgeous that day, and I found myself ambling around, not paying much mind to my rumbling belly. I fetched some horchata, and set to wandering.
I passed by so many potential lunch destinations, but, in typical fashion, couldn’t settle on a single one. I resisted the pull of Morgan's Market, a stalwart of my Stuy days, where I sat on the stoop outside with my grilled cheese deluxe (with tomatoes, obvs) far more frequently than I'd like to admit. So I strolled, and suddenly it was 1:30, and I was forced to make a decision lest my fellow potential jurors be forced to listen to my stomach grumble angrily at me for the next few hours (which ended up being only about hour as we were released way early; #jurydutywin). Like the professional procrastinator I am, once under the gun, I was able to quickly settle on what I wanted. And that was a bánh mì. I often crave the salty, pickley sandwiches, but I don’t often find myself near Chinatown when those cravings hit. I had to take advantage.
Banh Mi Saigon
198 Grand Street (b/w Mulberry & Mott)
New York, NY