Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Xie Xie

I've always embraced the concept of a sandwich. It's truly a great excuse to pack as many of the food groups as possible into one place. The variety of combinations of breads, spreads, and ingredients is simply endless. And for someone who is not necessarily blessed with artistic creativity, sandwich-making can cater to my own creative energies. I am not afraid to make them for lunch and I am certainly not afraid to make a dinner out of them. In fact, I even crave a hearty dinner sandwich more often than I should probably admit. And so the recent trend of Asian sandwich shops opening throughout New York City has definitely caught my attention. As much as I love making them, I just as much enjoy having the right one made for me.

Hell's Kitchen's Xie Xie is the latest sandwich outpost that has met up to my high sandwich standards. This casual restaurant by no means attempts to replicate authentic Asian cuisine. Rather, it uses the best of Asian ingredients to create hearty, flavorful, and quick meals. While the menu is centered around sandwiches, there are also identical options in the form of salads. For those of you who are still frightened by the carb-heavy concept of a sandwich, I recommend these - the ingredients are so good that the salad form will be almost as acceptable!

You really cannot go wrong with any of the sandwiches on the menu - let your mood dictate your decision. But, if at all possible, I really recommend going with another person so that you can split two - this will be the perfect amount for a large lunch or a regular dinner. My favorites are the Vietnamese BBQ beef on a sesame roll with basil mayo and carrot kimchee slaw and the shredded braised chicken on a baguette with smoked egg salad and cilantro. The beef is prepared in an excellent, flavorful marinade which the mayo and slaw balance out perfectly. The smoked egg salad on the chicken sandwich makes the second option truly stand out. Both can (and should be) spiced up a bit with the sriracha sauce that, to my delight, adorns each and every table.

When I opt for a sandwich while eating out, I want it to be a creation that I couldn't easily replicate at home. The complexity of the flavors and ingredients offered at Xie Xie meets these standards and then some. While I will continue to be known as the Sandwich Maker in my family, they shouldn't count on any BBQ beef or braised chicken creations any time in the near future. I will always be more than happy to whip up exotic combinations involving deli meats, fresh and in-season vegetables, and gourmet spreads, but I will leave the Asian ingredients and influence to the pros.

Xie Xie
645 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10036
(212) 265-2975
FOOD RATING (Out of 5):


Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

This place looks great. My favorite restaurant in that part of town has to be Casalula. So darned charming and tasty.

Anonymous said...

these look AMAZING. love the creative combinations here.

GAR said...

As luck would have it I don't work too far from there, great place! Tried the BBQ Beef (with sriracha) and have no regrets. Opted for just the sandwich vs. the meal and it was really satisfying. Next time, braised chicken. Keep the good ones coming.