Side Dishes: 99 Asian Market has Southeast Asian subs and smoothies
August First, a new Euro-style bakery in Burlington’s South End, offers the lunch crowd skinny, homemade loaves layered with classy toppings. If you want a fresh, healthy baguette sandwich on the other side of town, though, Asian’s your best option. Premade Vietnamese Bánh Mì subs have long been available at Thai Phat Market on North Street, and now you can grab a freshly made version at 99 Asian Market, across the street from QTee’s on North Winooski Avenue. The bread comes with the customer’s choice of grilled beef, pork or tofu, plus zingy carrot and daikon slaw with jalapeños and cilantro.
Friday marks the first day the spot will serve up dishes cooked to order. Maria Thach, owner Niem Duong’s sister-in-law, says to expect “noodles, stir fries, rice soup, appetizers, egg rolls and beef noodle soup.” Though prices had not solidified at press time, Thach expects egg rolls and other starters to cost “around $1 or $2.”
Weekly specials, which will change each Friday when Duong arrives with fresh produce from Boston, will include Vietnamese noodle bowls such as pork soup with quail eggs and shrimp — a dish that’s also available at Thach’s mom’s restaurant, Leelawadee in Winooski. On Monday, the buffet included brightly colored bamboo; a shrimp and vermicelli stir fry; a garlicky, chili-bedecked dish of pigs ears and greens; and luxuriantly sesame-scented cha gio rolls.
An even more out-of-the-ordinary planned offering is what Thach describes as a “buffet of meats: pork belly, stomach, liver and all that stuff. People take what they want and we prepare those parts. They take it home and add it to their rice porridge.” Customers can also have lobster tails and crab legs from Boston fried to order in their choice of sauce. The varied Asian fruits and veggies available at the market will inevitably make their way into the entrées.
For now, the meals will be takeout only, but Duong says she hopes to add seating early next year. Need a snack? Sample fresh sugar-cane juice, iced coffee and fruit smoothies. For dessert, grab some mochi-enrobed lychee ice cream from the freezer.