Num Pang


This is a place I’ve always heard of and finally, following two Cambodian’s, I stopped in for lunch.  Though this is New York City, Cambodian sandwich shops are still not common around here.  I actually have no idea what to expect from Cambodian food at all.  We finally got to the actual storefront after parsing through massive crowds gathering for a street fair on University Place.  On quite a few occasions, we were tempted by the fried Oreos, but our resilience and strong will eventually led us to the little two-floor sandwich shop.  Other friends then joined, and our duo became a tetrad.

I ordered a Grilled Skirt Steak, but was too preoccupied with being social to notice what others had ordered.  The sandwich, was larger than most, but smaller than many that I have eaten.  I say this with Philly Cheesesteaks in mind right now because those are usually on the larger end of the sandwich size spectrum.  Still, I devoured it with great haste, tasting within it fresh, but not whole wheat bread, above average meat, delicious chili mayo, and nice cool cucumbers and pickles which were perfect for the summer season.  I was told though, after the meal, that this was unlike typical Cambodian food, and I shouldn’t expect Cambodian sandwiches with steak should I ever decide to visit Angkor Wat.

Though it was indeed a delicious and extremely unique sandwich, it didn’t bring me the kind of exuberance and joy I had hoped for.  It was after all, still a sandwich, and it takes relatively extreme sandwiches to jolt my tastes.   Perhaps, I’m still biased as usual, and continue to find fusion foods and non-traditional cuisines subpar in comparison to their original counterparts.


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