A Sandwich a Day: Braised Pork with Peanuts and Sour Mustard Greens at Taiwan Cafe, Boston
In this great country of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Momofuku might have made steamed pork buns cool (if not small and expensive), but there are still places where they fulfill their original goal: a cheap, delicious, workingman's lunch. I like to think of the Braised Pork With Peanuts and Sour Mustard Greens In Steamed Bun ($3.75) from Boston's Taiwan Cafe as something like a Chinese Reuben. It's got the same basic flavor profile.
Pork belly slow cooked in a sweet soy-based sauce is as rich, meaty, and meltingly tender as the best corned beef. Pickled mustard greens are sharp and sour with a wasabi-like heat and the pungent aroma of braised cabbage takes the place of the sauerkraut, while sweet crumbled fried peanuts and a sprinkle of sugar add the sweetness and fattiness of Thousand Island dressing. The bread is a fresh steamed and folded bing-style bun, yeasty and tender.
At $3.75, it's a far better option than any of the $11 sandwich joints in downtown (this is Boston—you can walk to Chinatown from downtown during your lunch break), and a good break from the other sub-$4 lunch options (those would be the bánh mì).
34 Oxford Street, Boston MA 02111 (map); 617-426-8181