This past weekend has been a celebratory one: one of the Mom Vivant girls is getting married and another turned a summer older. So it ended up with a bit more of partying than we are all used to and I needed some food to work its magic. Good thing Dad Vivant was nice enough to take Little Sous-Chef and La Petite Wasabi to the pool so I could bounce back to a functional mommy mode. (And yes, before we were mommies we partied and were fun and wore cute dresses and nonsensical heels. It has not always being sensible, falling asleep at 9.00pm out of exhaustion or wearing a burp cloth as the It accessory).
The obvious option was a bacon, egg and cheese on a roll sandwich from the local bodega, which was a very appealing idea but… not. I needed some fresh air and some spice, so I decided to take a walk and see where it would take me. The bad thing of a post party state (after not partying that much in a long time) is that you are in a daze and this doesn’t help the decision making process at all. Out of nowhere the idea of iced bubble tea and a bánh mì seemed the perfect cure to all of my ailments.
So I strolled down Smith Street, taking in the beginning of the summer heat, thinking of Vietnamese food. Hanco’s used to have a little store front on Bergen Street. Plain white and tiny on the layout, it gave them the opportunity to focus on making crunchy and freshly delicious bánh mì, the perfect mix of Eastern flavors and Western bread. Pre-kids we used to stop by at Hanco’s almost every Sunday, grab a bánh mì and take it to the Brooklyn Inn, which is a couple of blocks away, as it was the perfect companion to an iced cold beer.
Hanco’s has grown and left the little Bergen Street spot to move to busy Smith Street, half block away from their previous location. Decorated in the ubiquitous Asian-restaurant style, this new space allows more people to eat in. By the huge window , a table and two comfortable chairs makes the space brighter than the dark wood and exposed brick wall and heavy wood tables would. It doesn’t have table service, so you still have to go to the counter and order to stay or to go, wait for your number to be called and then take a seat in one of the communal tables.
The menu has been expanded a bit, but I went for my Classic Bánh Mì (spicy, please), and a strawberry bubble tea. The sandwich was not as delicious as I remembered it from the Bergen Street location, but it was still pretty good. Not sure if I got them in an off day, but I remember the bread being crispier and the spice having more of a kick to it. Still, it was a very good sandwich and just exactly what I needed.
They don’t have a kids menu, but they do have rice dishes and different types of rolls, which always work with the girls, and they do have high chairs.
They also accept credit cards now (which they didn’t use to). The unisex bathroom is downstairs, decently clean and tiny; however, it doesn’t have a changing table.
And even though I felt a bit disappointed about the bánh mì, the bubble tea was excellent and it’s one of the few places where you can find it in the neighborhood. I will definitely go back and bring the girls with me and hope to get the sandwich I had savored in my memory.
134 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Monday – Saturday: 11:30am – 9:00pm
Sunday: 11:30am – 7:30pm