Monday, April 12, 2010

Eat Well

Life ain't easy for a banh mi addict working in the CBD. Picture this: just another typical Monday morning, sitting at your desk, regretting that 7th Abita Amber at French Quarter Fest yesterday, when the clock strikes noon and you are all of a sudden overcome with an insatiable craving for mini loaves of french bread stuffed with assorted pork products. You at first contemplate a 25 minute drive to pickup Dong Phuong but then realize it would be near impossible to avoid getting sriracha on your tie while crossing the Industrial Canal. Pho Tau Bay and Tan Dinh on the Westbank are out because you forgot your toll tag at home. The cravings are only getting stronger

What do you do?

Answer: Hop in your car, drive down Canal Street to Broad and stop at the Eat-Well food store. "Wait, are you talking about that place on the corner? Where if I'm stopped at that red light I always make sure that my doors are locked?" Yes, yes I am; and no, the neighborhood is not that bad.

While Eat Well does offer the requisite tall-boys, 40ozs., and pork rinds which are to be expected in your typical corner store, it also has a deli in the back which serves a variety of sandwiches, steam table fare, and a decent banh mi. Heaping piles of honey chicken and yaka mein are dished out from behind the counter, while pairs of housemade springrolls lie on top of the counter just waiting to be snatched up as impulse purchases.

The banh mi is only offered in one evolution - a trifecta of sliced roasted pork, sweet and sticky "barbequed" (though more like stir-fried) pork, and gelatinous pork loaf (a cousin to head cheese). All three are stuffed on a roll from Hi-Do Bakery along with shredded carrot and a few slices of cucumber, wrapped in butcher paper, and paired with a drink of your choice for $4.99.

While it's not the best banh mi in the city, it will most certainly hold you over until your next score.

10 comments:

Donnie Boy Riguez said...

Sounds like the column of a junkie. Maybe this should be sent to the editor of the Times Picayune.

Anonymous said...

Moon Wok at St. Ann and Dauphine has really good banh mi's as well for 3 dollars and some change. The pho is good too. I like Eat Well also, very clean store, but the pork is a little tastier at Moon Wok. CharlieH

Ryan Waldron said...

Maybe it's just because I work out on a levee off of chef and I have to pass Dong Phuong to go to, well, any place at all, but I really think that their sandwich is so superior it trumps all others in my desire. note though. I haven't eaten at any of the west bank places.

Rene said...

As someone who has eaten Vietnamese all over the city, I can assure you your conclusion is correct.

Ryan Waldron said...

Thats it. you've given me the craving. I'm headed to Dong Phuong for lunch.

Peter said...

Anon,

I have had the pho at Moon Wok but not the banh mi. Next time.

Ryan,

I agree that Dong Phuong has the best banh mi in the cit, and they are only $3 each.

Jeanne said...

Bahn Mis are now available at the American Sector restaurant at the National WWII Museum. They were originally a special, but have been added to the main menu due to popularity.

Becky said...

I second the Moon Wok rec. Not as good as Dong Phuong, but better than Eat Well. $3.50. Closed Wednesday.

Sir Velvet said...

Eat Well is a good alternative if you don't want to drive out to N.O. East. They are very nice and the store is clean. Much cleaner than Moon Wok. Which is too dirty for me.

Anne Berry said...

I drive by Eat Well all the time and always wondered about the food. Thanks for checking it out!