Sandwich a Day: Hoi An Meatball Sandwich at Out the Door, San Francisco
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.
This almost-banh-mi has many of the same trappings as the popular Vietnamese sandwich we know and love. The juicy pork meatballs on this Hoi An Meatball Sandwich ($8.50) pack a lot of flavor. The meat has a pronounced porkiness as well as an unexpected crunch from diced jicama. The meatballs are simmered in tomato sauce which lends a little heat as well as the addictive stink of fish sauce.
Best of all, there are so many meatballs shoved up against each other in this sandwich that instead of a few spaced out meat pockets, there's a line of meat running down the side of the bun.
Running parallel to the meat is what I like to call the salad line: a mix of pickled carrots, thinly sliced English cucumber, and cilantro. A bite that takes the two lines together achieves that awesome contrast of meaty and salty, sweet and refreshing.
The French roll, which is made inhouse, could have used a firmer crust but still gets points for being the exactly perfect size for the sandwich.
Special shout-out to Friend of Serious Eats Jessica who is moving to Hoi An, Vietnam, next month!
Out the Door
About the author: Carrie Vasios is the Community Manager of Serious Eats and writes the Wake and Bake, Cookie Monster, and Serious Entertaining columns. She likes perusing her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar.