Dish 130: Bahn Mi Sandwich at Q.T. Vietnamese Sandwich, 48 N. 10th St
The cool burn is a phrase usually reserved for a particularly satisfying dig; the vengeful rebuff of an advance by one scorned, or the quick deflation of an overcharged ego. Twisting the knife. Getting one’s just desserts. Succumbing to the mayonnaise.
Hear me out. Mayonnaise gets a bad rap. I’ve been beating on mayo for years, somewhat unfairly. It is my family’s home county in Ireland. Obviously that’s not the reason I rag on it. It’s fattening, smells weird, and makes a horrible noise when you squish it. So horrible, in fact, that people everywhere know exactly what you mean when you say “that squishy mayonnaise sound”. But I digress.
Mayonnaise is a cooling taste. Mayonnaise in the Bahn Mi tofu sandwich is a burning taste, that slow, spreading burn of a cool food made spicy. A cool burn that begs you to take another bite—no, don’t put me down, just one more bite, the sandwich coaxes you, from the safe perch of it’s toasty weightless bun. Just one more bite. And you succumb. And the burn spreads. Your eyes water, your mouth begs for mercy. But you can’t stop. The mayonnaise, sneaky, sexy, so surreptitiously, has taken control, sunk the burning hot knife between your lips, and twisted the blade. Oh, every other day this month, you may order a hoagie and hold the mayo, but today, today, Mayo won one for the little people.