The NYTimes visits the Sau Voi Corporation, "a tiny convenience store on the outskirts of Chinatown with about 200 square feet of jampacked retailing space overwhelmingly devoted to three things: ladies' underwear, Vietnamese pop music and lottery tickets" and more importantly, very cheap very good sandwiches.
Sau Voi was named after a popular sandwich shop in Saigon, the Lees said. They picked the name hoping it would bring good luck, they said.
"Americans seem to want a certain ham and cheese sandwich, and they don't seem crazy about anything else," Richard Lee lamented. "We think that if they try our sandwich, they will like it. But if they don't try it, we don't know what to do."
The Sau Voi classic is pâté, ham, turkey, cucumber, carrots and hot sauces on warm, crunchy French bread. On the menu, a customer also finds dozens of other selections: shrimp fried noodles ($2), coconut jam sandwiches ($2.50) and shredded green papaya with shrimp and fish sauce ($2).
Sau Voi Corporation is located at 101 Lafayette St (at Walker Street) and open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.