I feel like I'm out of my mind writing a Budget Beat article about a place serving $9 sandwiches.
But hear me out. This ain't just any sandwich I'm talking about. These are some of the best sandwiches you'll find, definitely worth the extra bucks. Second, the restaurant serving them is one of the Valley's best, known more for $50 four-course prix fixe dinners.
The restaurant in question is Noca. It used to be that if you didn't have the cash to go on a regular night, you had to wait until the end of the weekend for one of their $35 Sunday Simple Suppers. Now, they have introduced fast-casual Nocawich. The bar is converted into a panini station that offers six standard sandwiches, plus a special. Also on offer are two green salads, two side salads, and a daily soup. Sandwiches are around the $10 mark, but are small enough that a side order is practically mandatory.
Everything is served in to-go containers and paper bags; you can take your meal on the run, or have a seat and watch the chefs prepare that night's dinner service.
The special was irresistible: Leslie Chow, Noca's take on banh mi. It featured teriyaki glazed Berkshire pork belly, pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, and Sriracha aïoli. I could have gone for thinner slices of pork belly (which was nicely crisped on the edges), and I would have appreciated a crustier baguette, but it was still an outstanding sandwich, the sweet teriyaki, rich pork belly, and tart veggies playing off of each other perfectly.