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.




So, I’ve been eyeing this place ever since I knew it existed.  It brings back fond memories of Keenan & Kel, and it also begs the question, what ever happened to Kel?  Overdosed on orange soda is my guess.  Anyways, I thought I’d give it a try for lunch since it’s not far from my office.

I’m not sure whether it lived up or not to my expectations.  The setting and atmosphere was definitely a let down.  It was modern, almost like a pub with its wooden walls, rather then cheap and covered in white tiles like in the show.  It was clean and civilized, and I most definitely was NOT greeted with “Welcome to Goodburger, home of the Goodburger, can I take your order?” by the first employee I saw behind the counter.  This without a doubt was a let down.

However, the food quality I suppose did exceed my expectations.  I was expecting the worst burgers in the world, since that’s how I imagined they would taste like from watching the show as a teenager.  I ordered the single burger with crispy onions and cheese and it was quite delicious, though the actual meat seemed a little on the small side.  But all in all, it was a complete and satisfying tasting burger.  I also ordered a side of cheese fries, which surprised me pleasantly since it was made with real cheese and not that nacho cheese dip stuff that you often get.  It was delicious when I first got it, melting hot with ooey-gooey deliciousness all over the plate of shoestring fries.  I think there were even two kinds of cheese used.

Good food, not Keenan & Kel-type atmosphere, combined with moderate prices and relatively slow service for a “fast food” makes this establishment an okay choice for dining.  You won’t really be disappointed, but don’t expect it to change your life at all.  There’s nothing really memorable about the place; you’ll probably just remember that you ate at some imaginary food chain which was introduced by a 90’s Nickelodeon show.  But I did quite enjoy the cheese fries.