52 5th Ave (St Marks & Bergen St)
City: Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 857-3483
2nd Cuisine: Sandwiches
Area: Park Slope
Payment: Cash only
Some restaurants hit it on all cylinders, 5ive Spice, a banh mi and Vietnamese noodle shop in Park Slope, is one of them. Step inside and you will find a down-to-earth spot with ultra-fresh food and tame prices.
Starters include crispy spring rolls packed with shrimp and pork. Drop them into a lettuce leaf, add some veggies, and dig in. They are s-o-o-o good. And so are the dumplings, plump and juicy, filled with your choice of chicken or vegetables. Most people come here for the the soup. We tried two types of "pho;" one with grilled chicken and another with lemongrass pork chop. Both were excellent. Bean sprouts, scallions, jalapeño slices and basil are served on the side adding to the freshness. The kitchen is also turning out a version made with house-braised short ribs.
The banh mi sandwiches were sold out during our visit, so we opted for two pork belly tacos to share. The richness of the pork against the pickled carrot and daikon makes for an excellent bite. The tacos are topped with fried shallots and fresh mint. As for the banh mi, you can get it several ways including with fried catfish, double fried chicken and the "Classic" made with Vietnamese ham, smoked ham, ground pork with a marrow mayo pate. We'll have to comeback for that one. 5ive Spice also offers a variety of vermicelli salads. You can get it with grilled shrimp or smoked duck breast. Cold pressed juices, limeade and Vietnamese Coffee is also sold.
Space is tight at 5ive Spice, but the fresh food and friendly staff make it worth the squeeze.
Review By: Thomas Rafael