Let’s face it, moving sucks! 200 bucks in fees and numerous, sharp hunger pains later, I was all moved in to my new Bushwick apartment off the Myrtle-Wycoff stop. Luckily, I discovered a pho banh mi sandwich to appease my aching belly and wallet.
One of my favorite things about Bushwick is walking around the neighborhood, eating at the plethora of taquerias and exploring the 99 cent stores. But this particular day after moving boxes, I just wasn’t in the mood for a carnitas taco, I wanted something filling and delicious. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m obsessed with tacos!)
When I stumbled upon Lucy’s Vietnamese Kitchen off Irving Avenue, I knew I was in for a real treat. Wonderful smells were pouring out of the charming shop, which said “Lucy’s” in cursive writing, surrounded by a heart. I walked inside and was greeted by a smiling Vietnamese man standing behind the counter.
Chef Johnny Huynh was raised in Bushwick by his grandmother, Lucy. He’s bringing his love and passion for delicious Vietnamese food to the neighborhood at Lucy’s Vietnamese Kitchen. Lucy’s serves classic dishes inspired by Chef Johnny’s family along with his own flair.
The menu is written on a chalkboard hanging on the wall next to Lucy’s small counter. The pho banh mi sandwich caught my attention and Chef Johnny explained that this sandwich has been quite a hit. Although Lucy’s has only been open for about three months, they’ve already won Best Vietnamese Restaurant in New York City at the Taste of Asia awards!
When my pho banh mi sandwich arrived to the one large table in the small restaurant, a huge smile emerged on my face. This was exactly what my hungry belly was craving! The star of the sandwich is the 16 hour smoked brisket sautéed in pho broth, hoisin sauce, sriracha and Thai basil. After one bite, I looked at the strangers sitting next to me at the communal table and said, “Oh my gosh, that is some damn good brisket!” With their mouths also full of banh mi, everyone at the table nodded along with me in agreement.
The sandwich is served with typical banh mi toppings like jalapeño, cucumber, pickled carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro and house garlic aioli. The bread is also key; it’s flaky and proportionate to the other ingredients. I’m never a fan when there’s too much bread. But seriously, the brisket is incredible. I’ve eaten brisket in Texas and Lucy’s rivals some of the top, award-winning BBQ joints. I know it’s a bold statement, but you’ll just have to taste it to believe me.
I fear for my waistline now that I’ve discovered Lucy’s is less than a block away from my new apartment. I’ll definitely be back for the phenomenal brisket and I hope you will too.
*Post originally appeared on Chopsticks and Marrow