Hanco's Review: Hancos and high rent

Hanco's Review: Hancos and high rent

Michael and Scottie. Rainbows and unicorns. Swedish meatballs and ligonberry sauce. Vietnamese and Park Slope. That’s right SAT guru’s, the one that doesn’t fit is the last one. I never would have expected to find Vietnamese food in Park Slope, yet that’s exactly what I found this past weekend. Right after the discovery, I was reignited with the sensation of eating money. See, whenever I overpay for something, it’s automatically impossible for me to enjoy it. It’s like if you ever eat Rick Shaw’s Dumplings, you automatically think that you’re chewing a Susan B. Anthony. At Hanco’s, it’s kind of the same.

Hanco’s opened on the corner that used to be the Tea Lounge (10th st and 7th ave). It was a place for yuppies to get their caffeine fix and mooch wifi for three or four hours. In this kind of economy, it was no surprise that Tea Lounge had to close. And then when we all heard about the vietnamese and bubble tea shop coming soon, we were all excited! Because if a yuppy tea lounge can’t sustain a business, how can dirt cheap sandwiches that’s usually $3.50 – $4 dollars survive in Park Slope of all places?

Well, Hanco’s opened this past Saturday and they found out how to afford the rent and the Ikea furnishings inside the restaurant… They’re gonna afford the rent by charging an obscene amount for a banh mi sandwich. How obscene? $7 dollars. Maybe you missed the bruhaha at SE:NY about a $5 dollar classic from Baoguette in Manhattan. So now we have a $7 dollar classic in BROOKLYN?!? Yo WTF?

In terms of a price comparison, I’ve had a delicious $6 dollar cemita in the city. And a solid Italian hero from Prime Meats here in Park Slope for $8 dollars. Somehow it just feels wrong to pay $7 for for a sandwich that’s half the size of the $8 dollar sandwich 10 minutes away.

Now I know what you’re going to say… that the price of the sandwich is not purely dictated by cost of production and labor. You also factor in things like location and brand. So I guess the $7 dollar is justified because they have high rent here, and because if you’re really craving a banh mi, and you refuse to go into the city and you refuse to go into Brooklyn Chinatown, and you still want the banh mi? Then ok, spend the $7 for a classic.

Taste test? It was a solid banh mi, packing good heat. The bread had a nice crunch factor on the outside, but the roasted ground pork was just meh. The sandwich was average and I just couldn’t help but think about how damn pricy it was. I just KNOW if you take a bus towards Brooklyn’s Chinatown, you could find something tastier for almost half the price.

Hanco’s also offers a grilled pork sandwich and some other options. I would say the grilled pork sandwich is actually better than the classic banh mi, but not by much. It’s also $7 dollars and it tastes of regret. I actually went into Hanco’s on Saturday morning after their opening, looked at the price, and said “Hell no!” and took the F train into Manhattan. It wasn’t until Sunday when I just bit the bullet and bought the sandwich for the good of the blog. I was lucky that my sister also bought a sandwich for me to take pictures because I sure as hell wasn’t going to buy two.

Yes, it’s great to have the option of a vietnamese sandwich if the craving hits me. If you’re just jonesing for a banh mi and you absolutely can’t make it to the city… then yea, you might as well. It just makes me feel like an Asian kid living in the Mid-West again… and you’re walking through a mall and the only Asian dining option is the place that serves Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and Crazy random rainbow shit all the same time. Well then yea, I guess if I want a tuna roll, there’s no other option. That’s how I feel about Hanco’s. It’s a last resort option that has an average banh mi.

Full disclosure. This banh mi could quite possibly be delicious. But the minute I have to spend $7 dollars on a sandwich and there happens to be exactly $7 in my wallet, then… I don’t like it. My taste buds are fallible and biased. They have to be really delicious to change my mind. Here’s another thought, do the white folks who visit Hanco’s in Park Slope know where to get banh mi in Chinatown? Do they know there’s a Brooklyn Chinatown? Are they eating because they have to blog? Or because they collect federal bailout money? Or because they like the convenience of Vietnamese delivered to their baby stroller strewn neighborhood? Can someone explain this to me?

Hanco’s350 7th Ave.Brooklyn, NY 11215718-499-8081