Groupons are not a reason to bring your visiting girlfriend to a different restaurant than she has specifically requested for a date. Friday night, SK asked if we could go to one of her favorite New York haunts, a Vietnamese restaurant in Chelsea. “No way,” said the romantic boyfriend, “I have a coupon!” So we went to the discount place, and had an experience that ranged from mildly disappointing (me) to downright irritating (SK). It was a humid night, and the place was more of an open-air sandwich shack than a legitimate sit-down restaurant. The air was muggy, the tables and chairs were cheap plastic, and the speakers were bumping techno grooves.
I will say that I enjoyed my spicy catfish sandwich (bahn mi), with cucumber relish, pickled red onion, jalapenos, cilantro, Sriracha and honey mustard sauce quite a bit. I also thought it was a handsome sandwich, though opinions were mixed on this.