restaurants
Num Pang Sandwich Shop
21 East 12th Street
212 529 3901

Whether the economy is bull or bear, there's always room for an inexpensive takeout shop. At Num Pang Sandwich Shop, Ratha Chau, Scott Burnett (both from Kampuchea), and Ben Daitz reinterpret Cambodian street food with a rotating menu of six to eight sandwiches ranging from $7-$10. Served on a semolina flour baguette with their signature chili mayo and homemade pickles on the side (think super spicey cabbage slaw for example), are such selections as a veal meatball sandwich stewed in tomato, a vegetarian option of grilled cauliflower with soymilk for the chili mayo, and a coconut shrimp number. While the menu sounds elaborate, in fact each item relies on swapping out a main ingredient (shrimp instead of meatballs instead of cauliflower etc) as all are done with sliced cucumber, cilantro and pickled carrots. This is perhaps what enables fresh and quick service from this little spot that's actually built into what used to be a two-story - no joke - parking lot office – limited upstairs seating complete with those veined windows that overlook, you guessed it, the garage. Meatballs are tender, the shrimp is tangy and spicey, the cauliflower fresh and soft... A small beverages menu is even creative - there's bottled ginger beer, root beer, coconut water – and while at first we were not crazy about the house beverages, such as a blood orange lemonade that was strangely honeyed and at once too tart and too thick, we suspect that even that will grow on us.

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