How many Banh Mi places are there in Chinatown? Yeah, I have no clue either. But what I do now know is this: Paris Sandwich offers a thoroughly satisfying version of that vinegary Vietnamese delight, making it an excellent quick-bite option if you find yourself hungry in that part of town.
Only about six months old, clean, cheesily-decorated and super casual, Paris is the sort of friendly, family-run place at which you may find the counter worker's children reading and coloring at one of the tables, waiting for mom to get off work (and they'll happily share their table with you until another one opens up). More important, as Co and I discovered on our way to the HP7 party last week, the food is first rate, especially at these prices.
We started with a trio of Shrimp Summer Rolls, which were appropriately light and nicely flavored. Nothing revelatory, but definitely well handled. I also ordered a Green Tea Waffle as a starter, which was freshly baked, sweet and delicious, and had no business being listed under "appetizers", but did turn out to be a perfect dessert.
While we were wolfing our rolls, they were making the Bahn Mi, which you're then called to come pick up at the back counter. Co had the Shredded Chicken, marinated and moist, with the requisite pickled carrots and radish, a few sprigs of cilantro topping things off. I went for the classic Pork Roll and Pate, done up "spicy", and I loved every bite. I think what really elevates Paris's Banh Mi are their baguettes, which are baked on premises, and arrive warm and soft and crusty.
Paris Sandwich is located on Mott Street, about half a block up from Canal. Our dinner for two ran us about $12.