Sunday, May 16, 2010

Banh Mi Battel-Lowell MA#2

What: Beef Banh Mi
Where: Hong Cuc Sandwich Shop
507 Dutton Street
Lowell MA 01854
How Much: $3.00

Yeay, yeah, yeah...mixed Asian reference. Not a spelling mistake...

Banh Mi. The words give me pause and cause me to wonder just what and where is the perfect Banh Mi sandwich shop.  I realize I have just scratched the surface...

(readers, cue PJ Harvey - This Is Love) (clicking on link should open YouTube in a new browser tab so you can hear my selected audio track playing, but you will have to click back on this tab to return)

 This days travels took me into New Hampshire.  Lowell was on the way home and I missed Hong Cuc last time in a gamble on my ill fated trip to Lawrence.  YM and Taters were out, so I thought I'd bring something home for K and I.

Banh Mi University graduate?  Oh yes!  Summa Cum Laude. Note the white deli wrap and elastic as one would expect.  Bread was perfect.  The meat was there in quantity and VERY tasty. The size of the beef pieces was slightly larger than average.  The beef was thin and long and apparently marinated in a hot sauce.  Plant material was outstanding.  Cilantro was crisp and not one hint of darkness on the leaves, though it could stand a bit more.  Carrots and daikon also very crisp and tasty and there was no onion.  The cucumber was fresh, but hidden under all the meat.  There were even some scallions.  The smear of mayo was a little light.  I asked for the sandwich to be spicy hot. There were plenty of jalapenos, but they did not seem too hot.  Sandwich was hotter than most even without the Sriracha and the mild jalapenos.  The heat seemed to come from the beef.  Sandwich size was comparable to most.  The thing that really hooked me was a sweet taste that contrasted with the hot and salty.  It seemed to be something in the liquid poured on top of the sandwich.  Great value for the money.  Too hot for K though.  I got to eat two for dinner!

Hong Cuc is also a Asian grocery and features bubble teas.  There is a parking lot.  they are open 7 days a week 9AM - 9PM.  There is a seafood market next door.

I'd give it 5.5B/6

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A near perfect score!  Each time I have had  Banh Mi lately,  the bar gets raised.  I may have to lower some previous scores.  While not absolutely perfect, Hong Cuc was just slightly better than Pho Viet, even thought they had the same score.

What: Tasco Brand Roasted Coconut Juice with Pulp 
Where: Hong Cuc Sandwich Shop
507 Dutton Street
Lowell MA 01854
How Much: $1.00

I got this Roasted Coconut Juice at Hong Cuc with my sandwichs.  I thought it may make a nice sweet foil to my dinner.  It was made in Thailand and I passed on the other coconut juice that was canned in Puerto Rico trying to make the Asian experience as full as possible.  K actually kind of liked it.  There were little bits of coconut floating around in it.  I liked the bits, but did not like the juice.  It was sweet, but the roasted flavor did not appeal to me. Spend the $1 on a different beverage.

I'd give it .5B/6


Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Hong Cuc Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

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