I travel around ALOT especially in the city and always past by University Place down in Union Square. And when I'm down there I pass by this particular shop that finally got my full attention.
I read the awning and it said, "num pang." Num pang. Num Pang. Num. Pang........Holy shit! NUM PANG! NUM PANG IS CAMBODIAN FOR SANDWICH! THIS IS A CAMBODIAN FOOD SHOP! I GOTTA CHECK IT OUT! I'M CAMBODIAN!
Well, I'm American but my parents are from Cambodia. I was excited okay - sue me. It's really rare to see Cambodian influences within NYC specifically Manhattan so when it clicked I thought it was pretty cool and had to get something. Partially cause of patronage but really I still eat the cuisine today; I wanted to taste someone else's spin on it.
And it did not disappoint. The menu is focused on sandwiches which are similar to the well known bánh mì a.k.a. Vietnamese sandwich. It's a classic taste that definitely conjures a familiar mix of vegetables and flavors when you think about it. The signature ingredients starts off with a super soft baguette filled with sliced cucumbers, pickled carrots, crispy-fresh cilantro and slabbed with spicy chili mayo. Then, you fill it in with your protein which is primarily pork. I like mine with some pâté spread. Here at Num Pang Sandwich Shop I decided to go with one of their seasonal specialties: the five-spiced glazed pork belly. IT. WAS. SO. GOOD.
Definitely go check it out. You can arkoun me later (that's thank in Cambodian :)
Don't waste your pretty,