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!