Restaurant Review: Boi Sandwich
October 29th, 2009 by plumpdumpling

I was just living my life one day, heading to pick up dinner at Boi to Go–a Vietnamese fast-food-type offshoot of the original Boi just a few blocks away from my boyfriend’s apartment in Midtown–when I saw that the location had closed early. Horrified that I might have to dine on another slice of tasteless pizza, I read the sign more closely and found that an even newer Boi had opened on 3rd Ave. between 44th and 45th. It meant backtracking three whole blocks, but I decided to give it a go.

That was half a year ago, and I’m still loving it just as much as I did that first day. Everyone talks about the banh mi, but the best thing there is the lunch box. I get mine with pork, noodles, sesame-basil sauce, and all of the vegetables. The end result looks like this:

That’s a massive pile of thin rice noodles, lightly coated in sauce and hidden beneath mounds of lettuce, corn, carrots, onions, basil, and . . . okay, actually, that’s from a time when I got the chicken meatballs instead of the pork. The pork is marinated until it’s the color of molasses and then cut into thick, chewy strips, while the chicken meatballs are juicy and meaty rather than bready and dry.

The bowl as a whole is basically impossible to eat. It’s crammed so full of ingredients that you end up dumping half of it on the floor in your attempt to eat it, and it’s clearly not meant to be finished in one sitting, but I always have to. I try to save my favourite ingredients to eat last and end up with a bowl full of pork bits with, like, one noodle to accompany them, but that’s part of the charm.

Also part of the charm is the great service. When I go in after work to pick up a bowl for dinner, the woman working behind the counter always greets me with a smile and a hello, remembers what I like to order, and insists on stamping my buy-so-many-get-one-free card even when she has to wait ten minutes for me to dig it out of my cavernous bag.

I haven’t been able to find the Boi Sandwich menu online, so here’s a scanned version courtesy of my office copier:

Larger version here.

Larger version here.

I love that this place feels a little hipper and a little friendlier than most takeout joints in Midtown. The food is delicious, the value is excellent for the freshness and quantity of ingredients you get, and the service is attentive. The only bad thing about the place, really, is that the counter is a solid piece attached to the wall at both ends so that to get out from behind it, the poor workers have to crawl under it. Strange.

9 Responses  
  • Chou writes:
    October 29th, 20093:17 pmat

    I am going to eat here. Maybe tomorrow. Yum!

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      October 30th, 200911:47 amat

      Rad! I hope you like it as much as I do.

      Their chicken summer roll is also a favourite if you want to REALLY overdo it.

  • Bachelor Girl writes:
    October 29th, 200911:34 pmat

    Now I’m craving meatballs in my meatball-less house.

    Thanks a lot.

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      October 30th, 200911:47 amat

      I love the idea that there might be a meatballful house out there somewhere.

  • Tracey writes:
    October 29th, 200911:53 pmat

    When I read “Boi Sandwich”, all I could think of was this type of boi:

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      October 30th, 200912:05 pmat

      That’s much, much better than what I was thinking, which was this type of boi.

      In your context, Boi Sandwich is way hotter.

  • Midtown Links (The “This Site is Why We Are All Fat” Edition) - Midtown Lunch writes:
    October 30th, 20094:01 pmat

    […] The lunch box is the best thing about Boi Sandwich [Donuts 4 Dinner] […]

  • Kim writes:
    November 1st, 20099:33 pmat

    I’ve passed by this place as well. It’s nice to have variations in the Times Square area and the meals are relatively healthy compared to the fast foods joints around the area.

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      November 2nd, 20094:04 pmat

      Relatively is the operative word here. I always tell myself, “It’s vegetables!”, but by the time I cram all those noodles in, I’m in carb shock. In a good way.

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