Num Pang Opens Today In Chelsea Market, Already Packed With Hungry People

You know those chili-mayo-and-cilantro-soaked banh mi sandwiches – full of glazed pork belly, coconut tiger shrimp, and spiced honey pork – tucked into crunchy, baked baguettes? The ones from Num Pang, that packed Cambodian spot off Union Square, Madison Square, and Grand Central? Well today marks the opening of its fourth location in what is basically NYC’s Asian-Vegan-Seafood-Italian culinary Epcot known as Chelsea Market. And as you can see from the photo, not only does Num Pang "welcome friends & fam" with a very loving, chalk-written welcome sign, but Num Pang’s opening has already been sniffed out by tons of NYers who know a good Asian sandwich when they taste it, and tourists who know a good buzz when they see it.

And unlike all other Num Pang locations, you can only find their new roast beef and coriander sandwich, and chicken salad with spicy cashew sandwich at this new Chelsea Market location – none others. But don’t worry, their five-spiced glazed pork belly, BBQ brisket, and watermelon juice are still there. Always there for you.

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Num Pang and ABC Kitchen Collaborate with ‘Guest Chefs Give Back’

If you’ve been to Num Pang you know it’s possibly the best place to get a Southeast-Asian inspired sandwich for lunch or dinner. But now, that’s not all they have for you, as owners Ben Daitz and Ratha Chaupoly have started the “Guest Chefs Give Back” series, which kicked off with Mario Batali’s Italian-Asian fusion sandwich last month.

Starting today, they are offering their second chef collaboration in the cycle and this time, it’s with chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen. The four men have created the ABC Pang, which features a semolina baguette slathered with cashew butter, Thai chilies, and candied ginger and stuffed with lemongrass poached chicken salad, Thai basil, chili mayonnaise, and lime. 
 
“It’s exciting to collaborate with our friends and watch them put their own personal spins on our sandwiches,” says Daitz. “We’re the biggest fans of ABC Kitchen, as is everybody, so we were really excited to work with Jean-Georges and Dan on this latest sandwich.”
 
The best part, while you chow down on the spicy-sweet combo, you can feel extra good about yourself given that the $9.25 meal donates $6 of each sale to the Edible Schoolyard and The Double H Ranch foundations. Last month’s collaboration with Batali raised about $10,000, which is approximately 1,666 individual orders. And that, says Chaupoly, “Is a lot of sandwiches!” 
 
You can get the special for a limited time at both the Grand Central and Union Square locations of Num Pang. 

Cambodian Sandwich Shop Num Pang to Open Second Outpost Next Month

On Tuesday, more than two years after first opening, Cambodian sandwich shop Num Pang broke their single-day sales record. Now, owners Ratha Chau and Ben Daitz, who’ve turned down many franchising requests in the past, plan to capitalize on the demand for their Asian sandwiches with another Manhattan outpost, opening sometime next month. Where exactly will the second Num Pang be located? Well, they refuse to say. “It’s what we do,” says Daitz mysteriously.

Num Pang hit the Union Square area in 2009, at the apex of New York’s banh mi boom. “That was never the plan,” says Chau, who doesn’t see his sandwiches as traditional banh mi (technically, the Cambodian version is called num pang). “When I think of a banh mi shop, you don’t need much more than a little salad station, a cold cut slicer, a warmer for the bread, and some pickles,” says Chau. “We’re much more like a restaurant.” While Num Pang’s current location on E 12th St. is fairly compact, the two partners are reluctant to divulge any specifics on the new space, including its size. All they’ll say is that it’ll be ready in three weeks. Why so secretive? “It’s not that we don’t want to tell you, there’s just a PR program we have to follow,” says Chau.

New York: Top 10 Bánh Mì

For those with their heads still stuck in a panini press, this Vietnamese sandwich is the best thing that ever happened to toasted mini baguettes, pork pâté and mayonnaise, pork cold cuts, barbequed pork, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers, chiles, and cilantro. Known as the No. 1. Also, bun me. Proving French colonialism wasn’t all bad.

Ba Xuyên (Sunset Park) – Preme hawker of the greatest sandwich ever, sorry Cubano. Crunchiest buns, tartiest daikon, don’t-ask pâtés. Drop-ceiling realism in the less douchehead, more snakehead BK. Stinky fruit milkshakes + potted plants for the ladyfolks. $3.75 a hit. ● Bánh Mì Saigon Bakery (Little Italy) – Bling’s got nothing on salty, briny, flaky, bbq hoagie goodness. Behind this jewelry store’s nondescript display cases hides a hopping toaster oven. Atmosphere of grungy international intrigue makes up for smattering of pre-made sammies. Just leave the quiet American at home.

Baoguette (Gramercy Park) – Michael Bao Huynh and missus — of Manhattan Vietnamese Bao empire — dish out glorious, bombing bánh mì, putting former Blimpie’s space to shame. Catfish variation makes your Filet-O-Fish look inbred. Sammich addicts beware. ● Num Pang (Greenwich Village) – Technically a num pang, not a bánh mì. But swipe a page from Tricky Dick: international border, I had no idea! Cambodian carb missiles of toasted demi baguettes, chile mayo, pickled carrots, cukes, and cilantro. Gaping headcheese hole filled with trade-up peppercorn catfish, veal meatballs. ● An Choi (Lower East Side) – LES entrant into Great Bánh Mì Scare of Ought Nine. Crusty petite torpedoes layered with roasted pig, lemongrass pork, chicken and caramelized onion. Price tags running nearly double nearby Chinatown OGs, but intentionally exposed bulbs for your latest hipster romance. ● Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches (East Village) – First-wave bánh mì gentrification. An Dong daughter brought porky subs over from Sunset Park way back in ’04. Pickled daikon-ites beware: Not nearly as over-accessorized as other No. 1’s. But portobello mushroom option warms mad vegetarian hearts. ● Silent H (Williamsburg) – Eponymous chef/owner Vin(h) Nguyen raids mom’s recipes for the stylishly unstyled masses. No love for the pho, and bánh mì banished to “street shop” lunch counter. But big blonde Polish bread straight outta Greenpoint. Swap cold-cuts for kielbasa and have a go at pronouncing Agnieszka. ● Pegu Club (Soho) – Homage to late 19th century British officers’ club in Burma is close enough to Indochina for us. So is the bon-bon fried oyster bánh mì with all the fixings. Plus faster prep than your ten-minute OCD cocktail, topped with a fresh-cut purple orchid. Colonialism rocks. ● Nha Toi (Williamsburg) – Fusion bánh mì finds natural home among freaks and geeks of Billysburg. Though traditional No. 1 no match for Daddy, like its peers, it excels at careful eccentricity. Bulgogi beef riff, or pho bánh mì — the Vietnamese version of fried chicken and waffles. Bakes late. Gird your stomach ‘til 9pm. ● Terroir (East Village) – Between bánh mì and panini: two continents, one toaster oven, and a sandwich press. Yet somehow this table-less wine bar makes it work. Bánh Mì Italiano keeps pork terrine, pickled veggies, adds smacking of mortadella. Almost as good as your other half-Italian, half-Vietnamese fantasy.
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