Saturday, August 20, 2011

More reasons to hate food blogging (Bánh Mì Saigon)

BBQ pork banh mi

Remember a while ago when I talked about how much I hate food bloggers? I bet you probably thought my 24 pack of Haterade™ had run dry, but you'd be wrong. This shit is real, this shit is happening - I'm making an addendum to my somewhat exhaustive list. Reason number - er... whatever it is, I lost count - to hate food bloggers: they're fickle-ass motherfuckers. Equipped with memory capacities only slightly better than those of common goldfish, a lot of bloggers drive food trends for a couple of months, writing fervently about a single dish or cuisine as if it were truly the apex of culinary innovation, before quickly switching to a new "golden topic" of the day. Remember when cupcakes were all the rage? Then people decided that they wanted artisan pies? Which was followed by a sudden "renaissance age" of doughnuts? Well that shit is stupid. It's not like cupcakes suddenly started tasting like stale bread frosted with crap or that pies became second-rate desserts, it's really just that people tend to have a sheep-like tendency to do the popular thing. Not me though. I'm a shark. Sharks are winners, and they don't look back because they have no necks. Necks are for sheep.

Just like bánh mì. Two years ago, there wasn't a single person who wouldn't shut up about bánh mì. Then slowly, everyone made a mass exodus to some other hot issue in the very important world of food blogging. Probably something stupid like ramps.

From the top

Now I'll be straight with you upfront - I really don't know jack shit about Vietnamese food and I really don't know that much about bánh mì... so I'm not gonna tell you some nonsense like where to go for the best one (let's be honest, everyone knows how much bs those lists are anyway). What I will do, is tell you that Bánh Mì Saigon (located in the back of a jewelry store) makes some bombin' sandwiches in general. Also they're cheap. That's always a plus in my book.

Internals close-up

That would be $4.25 worth of sandwich. Their most popular sandwich is probably the bbq pork one. It's pretty simple really, just a plain baguette that balances a nice crispness with compliance that's sliced and stuffed. The filling is fairly... subtle. The roast pork is a loose ground meat mix that's semi-sweet, semi-savory, and relatively tender while possessing an unexpected crusting from the cooking process. Combined with cucumbers, radishes, cilantro, carrots, and all the standard accouterments (don't ask me what else goes inside)... this is a pretty damn tasty sandwich. With the cucumber slivers, daikon, and cilantro there's a certain refreshing lightness to the taste profile, and with the roast pork, pate, and mayo-ish sauce there's definitely a contrasting dense part to the equation. When added together and put on fresh bread? It's like seeing baby unicorns prancing across rainbow bridges suspended on puffy clouds - goddamn magical.

In closing, I'm actually gonna throw some more salt in your game by giving you a bonus reason to hate food bloggers. They steal shit. All the time. Ideas, content, photos... you name it. I wasn't actually gonna write this post for a few weeks, but you know what spurred me on? When I found out some asshat on Tumblr jacked my photo. My copyrighted photo. That little 'c' in a circle on Flickr? That means you should probably ask my permission before posting my shit on your demented blog. Just because you posted my Flickr username doesn't mean you credited me, it just means you just have the slightest bit of moral sense to admit that you didn't take the photo yourself. You're probably thinking, "bro you should chill out, you download shit all the time... what's one photo in the grand scheme of things?" Well first of all, it's not exactly an isolated incident. People take my photos all the time without asking. It's the fact that they don't even respect my content enough to at least ask to paste it all over the internet. What really boils my britches though, is the fact that the photo in question now has 2400+ pageviews. Pageviews that asswipe-content-stealer got that should've been going to me. Fuck this. I don't take pictures so other people get praised for shit. I do that for me. Frustrating.

Right. So in case you didn't feel like reading all that jazz (don't know why anyone would skip my Pulitzer-caliber writing...) tl;dr - a lot of food bloggers are like sheep because they have necks. There's a tendency to follow a retarded mob mentality and to forget that newer doesn't exactly = better. Also, some food bloggers are assholes and jack content like there's no tomorrow, stealin' mah pageviews... and stuff. Finally, Bánh Mì Saigon makes really good sandwiches that all cost less than $5. It is awesome. Also you can shop for jewelry while you wait for your order.

Bánh Mì Saigon
198 Grand St, New York, NY 10013


Feisty Foodie said...

What?! It's $4.25 now?! I actually remember when it was $3.25. And I've been dying for banh mi for a few weeks now but Chinatown is so friggin' far. Ugh. I'm glad the hype died down so I can eat it whenever I want (and I just don't blog it again bc I've raved about Paris enough by now).

Also, did the Tumblr you linked to not originally have a link to your Flickr? Cuz it does now, if it didn't before.

bionicgrrrl said...

Yeah, I noticed this happening to my pics a few weeks ago too. It's gotten to a point I don't even want to make anything public on Flickr until my posts go live. I mean, sheesh, let me post about my photo first.

Sue said...

If you're ever in the heavily Chinese/Vietnamese immigrant community of Alhambra, California there's a place called Ba Le where you can get a foot-long BBQ pork bahn mi for $2.50! And if you buy five, you get one free! muehehehe 8DDD

FlyingPeg said...

I can't stand most food bloggers too. Baaaaahh. Baaaaaaahh. Go back to your sheep pasture. Keep swimming, Shark Dude, and keep making me laugh (and my mouth water) with all your bomb reviews.

Rodzilla said...

I shoot with a P&S, if I took the time to set up a DSLR I'd be really pissed.

The jack-ass who stole your photo has an option of "remove your photo" what the fukc gives him the right?

I had a decent bahn mi the other day - shit was under $3 but the meat was sparse - yours looks better. I think I'll steal your photo when I talk about mine.

Nicholas said...

Feisty Foodie - hahaha you're just as lazy as I am. I'll go with you next weekend (or Friday evening) - since they don't feed me :( - if you're up for it?

The Tumblr always links to the Flickr page, and I guess that's better than nothing, but still... copyrighted means copyrighted. You should still ask. I would've said yes anyway.

bionicgrrrl - too bad I'm not so good at blogging right away. I don't want edited photos sitting in a folder when they could be building hype! You're right though, I've gotten to the point where I want to host my photos off of Flickr or to privatize everything.

Sue - um... if I take a business trip out to CA, Imma send you an email asking you about this stuffs again okay?

FlyingPeg - I like a lot of them. I'm friends with a lot of them. I think I have a strong double standard though, and a lot of times my friends do what I bitch about and I don't care haha.

FYI - I stole that shark thing from Futurama. I should probably properly credit Matt Groening and ask his written permission to quote his show if I don't want to be a hypocrite :p

Rodzilla - 1. the s90 is probably one of the top P&S cameras around, if I took a bitchin' photo on that I'd still be pissed and 2. to be fair, I don't really set up anything, lols -editing does take time though. I'm mainly annoyed at the traffic I didn't get and the traffic that he did get as a result of my photo. That's some real BS.

As for the banh mi, you could buy 2 and then smush the filling of one into the other then just eat the baguette plain? $6 ain't so bad in my mind.

Feisty Foodie said...

This week sucks for time, but we definitely need to eat together sooner than later :P and yea, I know what you mean about asking. Just ASK.

bionicgrrl (& fatty, hehe) - that's part of why I don't want to put my pics up on Flickr. I intensely dislike showing pictures before the blog post is up. I thought I was weird for feeling that way since I see ALL the other bloggers don't seem to care.

Sue - thanks for the info... I'm definitely going to make a special trip. Is it FANTASTIC though - worth the drive from SF proper? (Cuz I usually stay in SF, though I used to stay in San Jose) Thanks!!!

Kevin said...

Damn, a 50 cent hike from the previous price of $3.75, but it's still my favorite banh mi (though I haven't tried many). I went to this place back when they were this tiny hole-in-the-wall shop near the Manhattan Bridge with a single toaster; now THAT'S being a shark, not a lamb. I don't follow the trends, I set them, bitches.

Oh, btw, you can ask to have the sandwich made "for tomorrow," in which case they will pack the veggies separately from the bread and meat. I like toasting the bread and meat to get them hot and crispy and then assemble the sandwich myself. Tastes better IMO

Katie said...

Moral of the story: Take shitty pictures so no one will steal them.
I made a bahn mi this weekend and hate I win?
Shopping for jewelry while waiting? Damn, they thought of everything.

Melissa Zhang said...

But you can't hug a shark, and sheep at least gently chew their food instead of piercing it to a bloody death (assuming that's your normal method of eating). Good to know Bánh Mì Saigon gets another thumbs up though. I've been meaning to try it.

I had a lot more to say, but I can't think while cringing at the GIGANTIC RODS OF CUCUMBER in the photos. And you even called it "refreshing"! Gah.

P.S. The photo-jacking part is annoying. At least no one's making tattoos of your photos....yet.

Danny said...

well it's all about the pageviews right? so you've basically outlined that we all care about pageviews (you included, me included), and we see people blog about the 'hot' it thing at the moment... that just means we're all acting on the same incentives... to have more pageviews. i can't be hating on people for the hustle. it's like hating on gaming companies for making addictive shit just cuz they wanna make a living. i gotta respect the hustle. the other part is that we all jump in the game at diff moments, and you just not into the same things at year 1 of blog vs year 3. and yea, this banh mi has been my favorite for a while. used to be sub $4 bucks. boo.

Nicholas said...

Feisty Foodie - well figure something out yo.

Kevin - dude, I'm not gonna ever wait a day to eat a sandwich. I'll never have that problem. I haven't prepared food for myself in the past few months nor do I plan to for the next few years.

Katie - you're right. GOTTA TAKE SHITTIER PICTURES. I don't hate cupcakes though :[ I just wish people would remember that they once went apeshit over them.

Melissa - nurse sharks. You can kiss them. They're kinda gentle. Also, sorry. I figured you'd hate this post being "cucumber gal," but it had to be written :p


Danny - know why I haven't responded? Because I don't have a good answer for that. We've established that I'm a huge hypocrite, and that I'm in love with the page views, but part of me still wants to think that I do this because I legitimately love food and want to find good food to share. Trends are something that bastardize that concept, but also drive traffic. I don't know how to feel about that.

I'm mostly bitter that my pageviews went to some buttfucker who doesn't link to my blog. That shit's not cool.

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