Sunday, July 20, 2008

Exploring in Chinatown

I've been really into China lately. Because of the upcoming Olympics, I suppose, there have been a lot of great documentaries on TV about China, and I've tried to watch every one of them. The Chinese have a fascinating country, culture, language, economy...and of course, cuisine.

With this on the mind and a free evening's dinner to be planned, Jeffrey and I decided to go to Chinatown for a little culinary exploration. It's so close, and I've only eaten there once, so it was high time for a visit.

By the way, Chinatown in Boston doesn't only offer Chinese cuisine. We did an initial round through the neighborhood looking at all the different options, and somehow, our goal became bánh mì, a popular Vietnamese sandwich on a baguette with crudité, your choice of meat, and often fresh cilantro.

We came across Lu's Sandwich Shop and decided to try it out. We got bánh mì xíu mại and bánh mì bì. 

Bánh mì xíu mại is made with these yummy pork meatballs in a kind of sweet and sour sauce.

Our bánh mì bì had the traditional shredded pork skins as well as something called "sour sausage." This particular sandwich was heavy on the fish sauce (nước mắm), which, I'm sure is traditional; but, it took us by surprise (quite!) at the first bite. (Personally, I would have liked it much better with less fish sauce.)

I did prefer the pork meatball sandwich, which was--due to the cold cucumber and carrots and fresh cilantro--nicely refreshing on such a hot day.

The best part about these sandwiches: they're only $2.50 each!  Next time I'm in the area, I'll definitely go back to try some of the other varieties on the menu!

More on our Chinatown adventure later...

Lu's Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

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