When Xie Xie (645 9th Ave, between 45th and 46th St.) opened a few months back it got more fanfare than nearly any other sandwich shop opening in recent memory. People were throwing around words like ‘concept’ and ‘project’ and generally seemed very pleased to be talking about an ‘asian sandwich shop.’ Maybe I’m jaded, but ‘asian sandwiches’ doesn’t have some kind of magical cultural cache that people are giving to Xie Xie. Between the words there’s almost a self-congratulatory we’re-so-cultured-aren’t-we-cool tone. All that baloney put me off a bit: sandwiches are sandwiches, who cares if they’re cambodian or ‘asian inspired’ or english or whatever? The more the merrier I say! Love them all! Eventually it wore off (or worked) and I happily took a walk to 9th Ave.
I tried the Vietnamese BBQ Beef ($9), apparently their most popular item. It was incredibly savory from the basil-mayo and shredded beef with a bit of pickled-carrots to add texture and spice. It is delicious, all the marketing buzz was right! Bite after bite of delicious buttery beef and mayo. God I love mayo. Like most sandwiches, it wasn’t perfect, there was a lot of filling creep and the sesame bun could’ve done a better job holding it all together, but those aren’t deal-breakers.
Ignore the buzz – eat the sandwiches!
Complex and well delivered:
They all come in these clear plastic trays:
The carrots were a bit haphazard but wonderfully bright:
Visitor, say hello to mayo and beef: