Just a few days ago I had a realization that I’d never tried Banh Mi before. (a Vietnamese sandwich that seems to have gotten very popular in NYC recently) I had a lunch planned with a friend in an area neither of us knew very well, and after searching for scoutmob/yelp/groupon/living social deals and not finding anything very appealing, we decided to take a chance on Co Ba- which stood across the street from where we were. When we looked in the window and saw only a couple of people eating there, we realized it was a little risky but decided to give it a shot.
It’s a cute, little restaurant, with lovely photos of the rice paddies and straw hats lining the walls, and it had an overall sense of peace and calm inside.
The prices for lunch meals were mostly under $10 and I thought much of the menu sounded great. I was sure I wanted to try Banh Mi, but didn’t know which one so I asked our waiter about them. He recommended the pork belly or the beef, explaining that the pork belly was very fatty but tasty and that the beef was leaner and spicier. I went with the beef and was sure I made the right choice after the first bite. The tangy/sweet vinegar of the pickles, cabbage and carrots went SO beautifully with the watercress and spicy tender beef. The side salad it came with was refreshing with sprigs of mint and a sesame soy dressing. The crusty french baguette the sandwich came on was such a cool contrast to the asian flavors but seemed to be paired perfectly. Okay. I officially love this sandwich.
I cleaned my plate and was even more pleased with the check arrived and I saw that my whole lunch including tip was around $10. Great deal, great service and awesome food.