Rating: 9 / 10
The internet is rammed with feisty tourists fawning over the meat-orgy at Huynh Hoa, bread rolls stuffed to bursting with luncheon meat, mystery artifacts, vegetables and slathered in far too much mayonaise. I'll err on the side of lunacy here and proudly retort: "I like my sandwiches of a minimal kind". That's where this spot comes in.
Tucked away so intimately, that you could quite possibly pass it five times, mid-hunt, given away only by the silent line of locals all secretly praying no tourists find out about it to further their wait next time around. However, if you trust your nostrils, you'll find this shimmering chapel of pork desecration.
Known to open around 4.30pm-ish, and sell out within an hour, it's recommended that you don't dilly dally around if you intend on eating. Find the alleyway, form a queue, place your order, pay, walk to the other side of the cart and watch, mesmerized as the small, plump, raw patties are placed on the grill with chopsticks, sizzling nervously until perfectly cooked, then moved to the serving tray where an expert hand cuts, opens, packs banh mi after banh mi in meditative repetition.
Grab your still-hot sandwich, and return to the privacy of your hotel where you can undress and eat in the throes of ecstacy, or choose what I did, and find the nearest step with which to plonk down on, and scarf the whole thing down while it's still hot and the vegetables have their integrity.
The juiciness of the pork mixed with the home-sauces, coriander, cucumber and crunchy yet fluffy bread, is truly the best meal you will ever get for under a dollar.
If you are one of those questionable type's who falls head over heels at the sight of a mountain of tepid flesh baking in the afternoon heat, then head over to Huynh Hoa and be gone with you!
Watch Mark Wiens attacking one:
All these recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"