<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\07524490212\46blogName\75The+Porkchop+Express\46publishMode\75PUBLISH_MODE_HOSTED\46navbarType\75BLUE\46layoutType\75CLASSIC\46searchRoot\75http://www.porkchop-express.com/search\46blogLocale\75en_US\46v\0752\46homepageUrl\75http://www.porkchop-express.com/\46vt\0756360860890559328271', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script><!-- --><div id="flagi" style="visibility:hidden; position:absolute;" onmouseover="showDrop()" onmouseout="hideDrop()"><div id="flagtop"></div><div id="top-filler"></div><div id="flagi-body">Notify Blogger about objectionable content.<br /><a href="http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=1200"> What does this mean? </a> </div></div><div id="b-navbar"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-logo" title="Go to Blogger.com"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/logobar.gif" alt="Blogger" width="80" height="24" /></a><div id="b-sms" class="b-mobile"><a href="sms:?body=Hi%2C%20check%20out%20The%20Porkchop%20Express%20at%20porkchop-express.blogspot.com">Send As SMS</a></div><form id="b-search" name="b-search" action="http://search.blogger.com/"><div id="b-more"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-getorpost"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/btn_getblog.gif" alt="Get your own blog" width="112" height="15" /></a><a id="flagButton" style="display:none;" href="javascript:toggleFlag();" onmouseover="showDrop()" onmouseout="hideDrop()"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/flag.gif" name="flag" alt="Flag Blog" width="55" height="15" /></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/redirect/next_blog.pyra?navBar=true" id="b-next"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/btn_nextblog.gif" alt="Next blog" width="72" height="15" /></a></div><div id="b-this"><input type="text" id="b-query" name="as_q" /><input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" /><input type="hidden" name="ui" value="blg" /><input type="hidden" name="bl_url" value="porkchop-express.blogspot.com" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/btn_search_this.gif" alt="Search This Blog" id="b-searchbtn" title="Search this blog with Google Blog Search" onclick="document.forms['b-search'].bl_url.value='porkchop-express.blogspot.com'" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/btn_search_all.gif" alt="Search All Blogs" value="Search" id="b-searchallbtn" title="Search all blogs with Google Blog Search" onclick="document.forms['b-search'].bl_url.value=''" /><a href="javascript:BlogThis();" id="b-blogthis">BlogThis!</a></div></form></div><script type="text/javascript"><!-- var ID = 24490212;var HATE_INTERSTITIAL_COOKIE_NAME = 'dismissedInterstitial';var FLAG_COOKIE_NAME = 'flaggedBlog';var FLAG_BLOG_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/flag-blog.g?nav=1&toFlag=' + ID;var UNFLAG_BLOG_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/unflag-blog.g?nav=1&toFlag=' + ID;var FLAG_IMAGE_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/flag.gif';var UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/unflag.gif';var ncHasFlagged = false;var servletTarget = new Image(); function BlogThis() {Q='';x=document;y=window;if(x.selection) {Q=x.selection.createRange().text;} else if (y.getSelection) { Q=y.getSelection();} else if (x.getSelection) { Q=x.getSelection();}popw = y.open('http://www.blogger.com/blog_this.pyra?t=' + escape(Q) + '&u=' + escape(location.href) + '&n=' + escape(document.title),'bloggerForm','scrollbars=no,width=475,height=300,top=175,left=75,status=yes,resizable=yes');void(0);} function blogspotInit() {initFlag();} function hasFlagged() {return getCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME) || ncHasFlagged;} function toggleFlag() {var date = new Date();var id = 24490212;if (hasFlagged()) {removeCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME);servletTarget.src = UNFLAG_BLOG_URL + '&d=' + date.getTime();document.images['flag'].src = FLAG_IMAGE_URL;ncHasFlagged = false;} else { setBlogspotCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME, 'true');servletTarget.src = FLAG_BLOG_URL + '&d=' + date.getTime();document.images['flag'].src = UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL;ncHasFlagged = true;}} function initFlag() {document.getElementById('flagButton').style.display = 'inline';if (hasFlagged()) {document.images['flag'].src = UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL;} else {document.images['flag'].src = FLAG_IMAGE_URL;}} function showDrop() {if (!hasFlagged()) {document.getElementById('flagi').style.visibility = 'visible';}} function hideDrop() {document.getElementById('flagi').style.visibility = 'hidden';} function setBlogspotCookie(name, val) {var expire = new Date((new Date()).getTime() + 5 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000);var path = '/';setCookie(name, val, null, expire, path, null);} function removeCookie(name){var expire = new Date((new Date()).getTime() - 1000); setCookie(name,'',null,expire,'/',null);} --></script><script type="text/javascript"> blogspotInit();</script><div id="space-for-ie"></div>

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tú Quỳnh Center Inc.


Does the phrase “headcheese accordion” whet your whistle? If so, run—don’t walk, run—to Tu Quynh in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

This clean, breezy spot single-handedly caused me to question my affection for the Banh Mi, but it also gave me a little much-needed perspective. I learned that the flavor-scale of this sandwich runs wider that the mighty Mekong. Great ones are the stuff of song, the spring in your step, the first flower to bloom. But the bad? Worse than ugly. It’s like stubbing your toe and then being forced to eat it. (The toe.)

Sure, a hot crusty baguette brimming with porky goodness sounds categorically a-ok. But, as I discovered, not all Banh Mi are created equal; much malice can be stuffed in these sandwiches.
"Bad Meaning Bad" (L) not "Bad Meaning Good" (R)

Take the TQ version of the Bánh Mì Ðc Biệt. Their roast pork had the same Red Dye #3 flavor that clings to bad Chiar Siu. If someone decided to whip up a batch of “sugar meatloaf,” this is what it would look and taste like. There was also entirely too much deli meat in the mix. Their pork roll was unusually rubbery, even by the lax standards of Vietnamese bologna. Add large swaths of what I hope was headcheese, but really tasted like sour fat slices pressed with peppercorns, and what do you have? Nothing to recommend, gentle reader.

It still wasn’t all bad. The pickles were a bit sweet, but didn't land me on the receiving end of a “haha, I can’t believe you ate that” joke. And they also did a fine job spreading the pâté on the loaf. But even the bread showed a lack of fighting Banh Mi spirit: very ordinary, a tad yeasty, and woefully under-toasted.

The folks at TQ seemed very nice, but this is a Quest for the Best Banh Mi, not the friendliest. Flavor rules. And on that score, this is one sandwich The Porkchop Express is not eager to revisit anytime soon.




Tú Quỳuh Center Inc.
230 Grand Street A3
Chinatown, New York, NY
Banh Mi: $3.00

Labels: ,

2 Comments:

Anonymous Crazy Jerky Sam said...

I only like to eat the worst types of sandwiches; for me, "the worse," the "better." So I am appropriately saddened and chagrined to announce that Tú Quỳnh Center Inc has stopped serving sandwiches, and now is just a full-service convenience store. I guess I'll have to make that sloggy trek out to Queens and to Phở Bắc to satisfy my needs.

1:54 PM  
Blogger J. Slab said...

CJS - you might also consider Nicky's Brooklyn, they have assembled some of this city's nastier banh mi's: meat log surprise with extra sogg. keep up the good fight!

11:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home