I am a theater fan. I love straight plays, but I adore a good musical. This love was cultivated at an early age by my parents who would borrow movie musicals from the library to watch with N and me. I vividly remember snuggling under a blanket on our brown plaid couch with my mom in hysterics after listening to Eliza Doolittle trying out the new “small talk” at the Ascot races. I recall the look of pure enjoyment on my dad’s face when Captain von Trapp sang Edelweiss. To this day, one of the things that I love about my dad is that he unashamedly enjoys musicals. I don’t recall when it started becoming uncool for guys to like theater or musicals, but the men in my life better be on board with this passion because my love for theater runs deep. Being a huge theater fan, I am lucky to live less than an hour away from “The Great White Way.” Brooooaaaaaaddwaaaayyyyyy! (Imagine me belting that out in an Ethel Merman voice).
My weekday theater routine has been to catch the Metro-North train into Grand Central after work. The challenge then, has been to find a spot for dinner that is conveniently close, tasty, and inexpensive – because honestly, Broadway tickets ain’t cheap. I’ve discovered a place that fits the *ahem* Playbill nicely. (Ok. That was terrible pun. I apologize). Num Pang is a chain of Cambodian sandwich shops in NYC. There are currently 5 locations, and the most convenient one when attending a Broadway show is the one in Times Square. It’s an energetic little place with hip hop music pumping and graffiti-decorated walls. You can grab a stool or stand at the high counters that ring the seating area. The sandwiches they are churning out are DELICIOUS. Bon Appétit, The Village Voice, Zagat and many others happen to agree with me. A fulfilling meal is inexpensive, it’s fast and boy is it tasty. You basically choose your main filling which gets piled onto a toasted semolina baguette, topped with pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro and homemade chili mayo. There are year-round classics, and seasonal sandwiches. I’ve had the Grilled Khmer Sausage seasonal sandwich twice recently because it was that good. I tried the Blood Orange Lemonade once… but it was a little bitter for my palate. I LOVE that N and I were able to eat here on a Friday in Lent thanks to options like the Roasted Cauliflower sandwich, Peppercorn Catfish sandwich, Coconut Tiger Shrimp sandwich and even a Spicy Organic Tofu sandwich. There are salad options for the carb conscious. A few soups and some sides round out the menu. I read on their website that they’re working on dessert offerings.
No pictures for this post kids. Sorry about that. You can find plenty of pics on Yelp or at http://numpangnyc.com/. Anyway, I’m fairly certain that I’ve started hoovering my sandwich before I’ve thought to pause and snap a pic. The only thing I may have paused for would be to drizzle my sandwich with extra Sriracha – oh yeah, bottles of the stuff dot the counters for your drizzling pleasure. Cash is king at the Times Square location, so stop by the ATM before you go. Then, enjoy the show!
p.s. You know my penchant for a pun by now… so you get the title of this post right? Tee hee!