Merchant of the Week: Num Pang

Some snapshots of Num Pang

If not for the ever-present line of hungry New Yorkers, you might just miss the sight of the tiny entrance of Num Pang Sandwich Shop, which is nestled snugly between parking garages on 12th street. Meaning “bread” or “sandwich” in Cambodian, num pang is a gourmet sandwich similar to the Vietnamese “banh mi.”

What makes a num pang a “num pang,” however, are its Cambodian-inspired meats (think five spiced pork belly or coconut tiger shrimp) and equally as mouthwatering vegetarian options (roasted salt & pepper Japanese yam). Add fresh cucumbers, carrots, signature chili mayonnaise, cilantro, and a warmly toasted French baguette to hold the above-mentioned goodness together, and you have officially reached sandwich perfection.

Owners Ratha Chau and Ben Daitz seem to think so too, and so having already reached its flavor-packed potential, Num Pang is one of the few restaurants that does not accept special orders.  You can be sure that every sandwich will come in its same modest size that will leave you full without struggling to breathe, and equipped with its proper toppings every time.  But honestly, who knew that a sprig of cilantro could add just the right dab of freshness to what could otherwise be a heavy sub?  Or a slab of cucumber the needed crunch?  The point is, Num Pang has done the banh mi justice and has consequently drawn an enormous percentage of the Union Square lunch crowd.  For those of you who hate waiting in lines in the heat or don’t have immediate cash, order any one of their ten featured sandwiches, a side, and a blood-orange lemonade to wash it all down from for your lunch or dinner today!

Num Pang Sandwich Shop, 21 E. 12th St.

Delivery Hours: Sun, 2-8:30pm; Mon-Sat, 2-9:30pm

Delivery Range: 4th – 21st St.; 2nd – 7th Ave.


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