Restaurants , Vietnamese Upper West Side
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 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Pork shoulder banh mi at Saiguette

 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Curry seafood pot at Saiguette

 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Pho at Saiguette

Presentation is not the draw of this uptown sandwich shop, which has been slicing old-school, Saigon-style banh mi (you won’t find any fried-egg or papaya-salad toppings here) since it opened in August 2012. Orders are unceremoniously shoved out in plastic bags from a small window beside the steamy, bustling kitchen, packed with tall Tupperware brimming with beef broth and Ziploc bags of pungent basil leaves, lime wedges and bean sprouts. But then you start combining the bag’s contents, and magically, a plastic bowl of startlingly good pho ($9) is before you, with supple, paper-thin slices of rare brisket, slurpworthy rice noodles, crunchy slivers of raw onion and a bold dash of hoisin-sriracha sauce. Underneath haphazardly wrapped foil hides lofty baguettes crammed with tender, charred lemongrass pork shoulder ($9), crispy bits of caramelized fat sticking to the tangy carrot-cucumber slaw and sriracha-chili mayo slathered on top. It ain’t pretty, but it sure is tasty.
Venue name: Saiguette
Address: 935 Columbus Ave
New York
Cross street: at 106 St
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am–10:30pm
Transport: Subway: B, C, 1 to 103rd St
Price: Average dish: $11. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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