Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi")

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yumbo
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2003/02/26 16:04:15 (permalink)

Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi")

Hey -

Is anyone here a fan of Banh Mi? One of the few positive things to come out of France's colonialization of Vietnam was this sandwich, which is basically a marriage of the French baguette, aioli, and Vietnamese meats and spices. Yum-me.

Yumbo (Seattle WA)
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83 Replies Related Threads

    Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/02/26 16:49:21 (permalink)
    Sounds interesting. Where can you find such a thing on the east coast? Any photos online that we should see? (you can link to photos in the forums btw)
    #2
    RoyHarv
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/02/26 20:00:54 (permalink)
    Just for fun I searched Google with "Banh Mi Boston" (without the quotes) and turned up all sorts of links, including some for NYC.
    #3
    M&M
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/02/27 10:16:14 (permalink)
    We had such a sandwich for the first time about a month ago. In St. Louis they can be obtained from Banh Mi So 1 at 4071 South Grand Blvd. 314-231-2242. I was told by the owners that they sell as many as 200 at a time to customers in the area and Vietnamese traveling through St. Louis. It is a delicious sandwich with a crusty french bread bun, spiced meat, cilantro or other green and sauce. If you are ever in the neighborhood, Banh Mi So 1 also bills itself as having the best spring rolls in the city and I certainly can't argue with them about it.
    #4
    kdiammond
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/02/28 21:16:36 (permalink)
    Banh Mi are very popular in the area near Arlington, VA known as Little Saigon. There are several places that banh mi are available (along with other great stuff) at the Eden Shopping center. This is a worthwhile side trip if you are in this area -- especially check out the Four Daughters restaurant in the same shopping center for many excellent choices.
    #5
    scenicrec
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/03/02 11:28:39 (permalink)
    The best (and cheapest, at $2 and change) bahn mi I've had was in San Francisco at Little Paris, located on Stockton St. in Chinatown, and Clement St. in "new" Chinatown.
    If you're traveling and in a hurry, they're avilable for six bucks at Lem, located in the food court of Grand Central Station!
    #6
    salembrewer
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/03/02 11:41:18 (permalink)
    In Boston, near the intersection of Stuart and Washington St. in Chinatown is a Banh Mi storefront. Can't remember the name because I am so intent on getting my sandwiches. The #1 (Vietnamese cold cut; ham, peppercorn headcheese and pork pate, $2.00) is the classic, and the #2 (shredded pork, $2.50) is close behind. There are four other variations. I always ask for them spicy, which prompts a liberal dollop of chopped fresh chilis. These all come with julienned carrot, cucumber, secret sauce, fresh cilantro on a nice crusty french roll (banh mi literally means "bread" the filling is a suffix). I have no idea how they profit at this pricing.
    #7
    salembrewer
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/03/02 11:47:32 (permalink)
    In addition, excellent "Pho" (Vietnamese soup) and fresh spring rolls etc. can be had two doors up on Washington st. Boston at Pho Pasteur. Around the corner is that venerable Boston classic, Jacob Wirths, with it's magnificent carved mahogany bar, turn of the century decor, excellent beers, and recently overhauled German menu. China Pearl for Dim Sum on weekends nearby in Chinatown...worth the unbelievable wait.
    #8
    yumbo
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/03/03 21:42:45 (permalink)
    I'll look for some pics. Note that the sandwiches come with a variety of meat options. For beginners I suggest starting with the chicken. Some of the pork options can be, well, very porky.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Stephen Rushmore Jr.

    Sounds interesting. Where can you find such a thing on the east coast? Any photos online that we should see? (you can link to photos in the forums btw)

    #9
    rumbelly
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/04/17 20:17:59 (permalink)
    Banh-Mi can be found all over chinatown in Toronto. Most windows offer 1$ sandwiches(thats canadian $'s) Beware.
    #10
    VibrationGuy
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/05/03 03:40:37 (permalink)
    yumbo - where's good in Seattle? After having had Bahn Mi in Vietnam several years ago, I suddenly see Bahn Mi signs everywhere in the ID and up around 11th and Jackson (home of Malay Satay Hut, which, on a related note, is my favorite Asian place in Seattle at the moment), but I always like a recommendation when dealing with food that includes organ meats (too much at stake to randomly sample places of dubious exterior appeal).

    Eric
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    yumbo
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/05/03 18:57:47 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by VibrationGuy

    yumbo - where's good in Seattle? After having had Bahn Mi in Vietnam several years ago, I suddenly see Bahn Mi signs everywhere in the ID and up around 11th and Jackson (home of Malay Satay Hut, which, on a related note, is my favorite Asian place in Seattle at the moment), but I always like a recommendation when dealing with food that includes organ meats (too much at stake to randomly sample places of dubious exterior appeal).

    Eric



    I've had good luck with Number 88 on the SW corner of 12th and Jackson. It's a hole in the wall, but the Chicken Banh Mi are fantastic. Their BBQ beef and pork are good as well. The guy bakes all of their baguettes on site. I've also had good sandwiches from Saigon Deli on the opposite corner of that same intersection.

    -Yumbo
    #12
    vinelady
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/05/05 15:50:06 (permalink)
    I have to agree with Yumbo on the Siagon Deli. Any more they are the only place that I go. But be prepared for controlled chaos. They are extremely busy. ALso try any of the desserts on the Left side of the hot foods. Yummy, even if I don't know what it is that I am eating.
    #13
    benschon
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/05/05 19:05:14 (permalink)
    Two excellent Banh Mi places in Portland, Ore.--a tiny nameless bakery adjacent to Thai Binh at NE Broadway and NE 67th, and Cali Sandwiches at NE Glisan and NE 66th. One Vietnamese secret I heard about is mixing a little rice flour with the wheat flour in the baguettes. Adds crunch.

    Cali recently put up a sign apologizing effusively for raising their prices. . .to $2.75 per sandwich. My god! How will I pay the rent at these exorbitant prices!
    #14
    yumbo
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/05/06 02:03:23 (permalink)
    One place to avoid in Seattle - the Vietnamese place at Uwajimaya. A colleague of mine got a sandwich there today and it was all gristle.

    -Yumbo
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    paul and louise
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/05/19 15:54:05 (permalink)
    this sounds a lot like a vietnamese po boy.........
    #16
    CheeseWit
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/05/19 16:07:42 (permalink)
    We have Banh Mi in Vietnamese restaurants in South Philly about 3 blocks from Pat's and Geno's. I agree that a beginner should start with chicken. Yummm.
    quote:
    Originally posted by yumbo

    I'll look for some pics. Note that the sandwiches come with a variety of meat options. For beginners I suggest starting with the chicken. Some of the pork options can be, well, very porky.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Stephen Rushmore Jr.

    Sounds interesting. Where can you find such a thing on the east coast? Any photos online that we should see? (you can link to photos in the forums btw)

    #17
    VibrationGuy
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/05/27 15:47:30 (permalink)
    To dredge this topic up again; I hit Bahn Mi 88 the other day for a "cold cut", a "chicken" and a "BBQ Pork". $1.50 each, great bread, washed down with a Taiwanese peach drink in the thickest steel beverage can I have ever seen. It was a throwback to early-60's beer can technology. Amazing.

    Anyway, the sandwiches were great, the price can't be beat, and the pork options were delightfully "porky" - were those strips of skin in the pork balls?

    Eric
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    yumbo
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/05/27 16:21:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by VibrationGuy

    To dredge this topic up again; I hit Bahn Mi 88 the other day for a "cold cut", a "chicken" and a "BBQ Pork". $1.50 each, great bread, washed down with a Taiwanese peach drink in the thickest steel beverage can I have ever seen. It was a throwback to early-60's beer can technology. Amazing.

    Anyway, the sandwiches were great, the price can't be beat, and the pork options were delightfully "porky" - were those strips of skin in the pork balls?

    Eric



    What I find fascinating at No. 88 are the other Vietnamese foodstuffs that they make on premises. They do an interesting-looking pork and spice puree wrapped in banana leaves. The proprietor tells me that you steam it for 30 minutes, upwrap and eat. Kind of like a pork sausage without the traditional casing.
    #19
    vinelady
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/05/28 13:17:55 (permalink)
    I enjoy the desserts from Saigon deli. the little balls of rice flour and peanut in coconut milk is to die for.
    #20
    EdSails
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/06/03 19:06:11 (permalink)
    Big decision with them is----jalapeno or no jalapeno. They are in abundance here in the LA area---I can't go more than a week without getting one. prices vary, but I have yet to pay more than $2.50. BBQ pork is the best, but the chicken and pork meatloaf is worth trying. I't a great sandwich!
    #21
    vinelady
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/06/03 19:07:39 (permalink)
    Jalapeno is the only way. :)
    #22
    yumbo
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/06/04 13:28:39 (permalink)
    I bit the bullet the other day and didn't remove the jalapenos from my banh mi. It was really good. Some are a little hotter than others, but delish nonetheless.
    #23
    vinelady
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/06/13 13:58:15 (permalink)
    By the way Yumbo, it apears that Siagon deli might be changing a bit, The name has been changed from Saigon Dynasty deli to Siagon Viet Nam Deli, and there is now a different deli around the corner that is named Siagon Deli also. I have not been into the new one, but the old location is still very very good. I finally tried Bahn Mi 88, I have to say that I did not like it nearly as much as Saigon Deli.

    #24
    ravensong
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/06/16 16:59:05 (permalink)
    Omigod! Banh Mi are the best things that have ever come out of French colonization!

    Here's a list of Banh Mi places in NYC that my friend the "Rogue" posted on another board. I've only been to Vietnam Bánh Mì So 1
    (the one's that East of Mott Street), but that place is GREAT. They've got the best fresh squeezed juices, like sugarcane and coconut. Literally, you walk in and you'll see the woman hacking away with a giant cleaver at some fresh sugarcane.

    ----

    This is a list of some Bánh Mì (Vietnamese Sandwich) places in NY.
    Rated on a 1-5 scale.

    FYI: The most typical Bánh Mì is the "Dac Biet" which means Special. I tend to think of this as the combo or "everything including the kitchen sink" style. I always recommend this style as an introduction because it has pretty much all the possible ingredients on it. It is a toasted baguette that is made of half rice aand wheat flour. Very crispy outside and fluffy inside. It has warm or cold pate, pork roll, and warm/hot BBQ pork. In addition it may have a Vietnamese pork/seafood sausage/bologna and a Vietnamese "headcheese" of pork/beef tendon and other cuts in a firm gelatin. These aye put into the hot toasted baguette and then long cucumber slices, cilantro, and a pickled combo of carrot and daikon, plus occasionally turnip. Added to this are mayonnaise and hot sauce, also possibly fish sauce and bbq sauce are added. They best places also include thin slices of hot peppers, either jalapeno’s or Thai peppers. If they ask if you want it "spicy" I always say yes. I have never had one that was overwhelmingly so, just piquant.

    Most places also offer vegetarian, pate, meatball, or chicken Bánh Mì. Some have sardine, I forget the Vietnamese name, as well.

    If anyone has any other Bánh Mì places to add to this list please post.
    Also your opinions on the ratings. Thanks

    Manhattan Bánh Mì Places

    Saigon Bánh Mì
    88 East Broadway Mall, Unit# 108.
    (The place under the Manhattan Bridge)
    (At Forsyth Street between Division St. and East Broadway)
    New York, NY. 10002
    212-941-1541

    Lots of meats and tons of veggies. They make only one style, the "Dac Biet."
    Rated 4.5

    Vietnam Bánh Mì So 1
    369 Broome Street
    (East of Mott Street).
    New York, NY.
    212-219-8341

    Lots of meats and veggies. Make 4-5 styles including Dac Biet and a very good Vegetarian with mushrooms, sweet radish, and rice noodles.
    Price: $2.75-3.95
    Rated 4.5

    Tu Quynh, Inc.
    128 Hester St.
    NY, NY 10002
    212-966-687
    Fax 212-966-6214

    Very good selection of meats and lots of veggies, but only an average amount of them. They make only 1 style, the "Dac Biet."
    Rated 4

    Bánh Mì Sáu Voi Café
    101-105 Lafayette Street
    (on the corner of Walker Street).
    New York, NY.
    212 226 8184

    Make 4-5 styles including Dac Biet. An average, but not great Bánh Mì.
    Rated 3.5

    Ba Le Deli Inc.
    145-147 Canal St.
    (By Manhattan Bridge entrance/exit)
    NY, NY 10002
    212-343-2657

    Not as much veggies or meat as one would like, kind of skimpy. Have 5-6 styles including Dac Biet , meatball, and chicken.
    Rated 2-3


    Brooklyn Bánh Mì Places
    (These places are about 7 blocks apart.)

    An Ðông
    5424 8th Avenue
    (on the corner of 55th Street).
    Brooklyn, NY. 11220
    718 972 2269

    Lots of meats and veggies. An overstuffed version. Make 4-5 styles including Dac Biet and Fish (Sardines). The Dac Biet is very meaty tasting. They use real pork slices and creamy great pate, and a lot of it. The owner insists on the best fresh local meats. You can get both hot sauce and jalapeno’s on them to brighten them up.
    Price: Bánh Mì Dac Biet $2.50, Fantastic Iced Coffee $1, canned Pennywort leaf drink $1 (Very, very sweet herbal tea) Local enthusiasts say that this place is the best of the two Brooklyn Bánh Mì places.
    Rated 4.5


    Ba Xuyen
    6011 7th Ave.
    (between 60th and 61st)
    Brooklyn, NY 11220
    718-765-0037

    Lots of meats and veggies. Make 4-5 styles including chicken and meatball. They have 4-5 different sauces that they use (Homemade bbq sauce, fish sauce, sweet mayonnaise, hot sauce, and something else?) plus all the meats and pate are supposedly imported frozen from France. (Is this a good or bad thing?) They do a mixed pickled veggie of carrot, daikon, and maybe something else, possibly turnip? A great contrast in flavors.
    Price: Bánh Mì $2.75, Iced coffee $1.75
    Rated 4.5
    #25
    kdimboden
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/07/01 05:22:50 (permalink)
    Lee's Sandwiches is a new chain in the Bay Area and Los Angeles that specializes in Banh Mi... good selection, and sandwiches that are nice and spicy with fantastic bread. The most you'll pay for one is probably $3, and the number of locations is growing rapidly.
    #26
    kangolpimp
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/07/10 11:52:56 (permalink)
    Steven Rushmore Jr. had asked for a photo of a banh mi several months ago. I just noticed this topic, so here is a pic:



    #27
    damage
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/08/01 00:58:58 (permalink)
    I'm so addicted, I've been thinking of making my own. Questions -

    - do you think you can buy the pickled daikon and carrot - or would soaking them in rice wine vinegar work?

    - the sauce - it's not quite aioli or mayo...hmm...

    - some of the veg versions come with strips of gluten "cold cuts" - has anyone seen a form of this buyable in chinatown?

    In Toronto, the best ones I've had are the ones at Ginger on Yonge south of Bloor - they're fresher and a lot bigger, and the tofu ones actually rock.

    alison
    #28
    vinelady
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/08/01 13:02:13 (permalink)
    The Gluten cold cuts, you can find at most large supermarkets, look in the refrigerated section, near salads. Ives makes a number of different lunch 'meats'. If you are looking for a more asian flavoring, I have found a number of really good ones in the local japanese market.

    I have never seen the carrot and daikon premade, but I think that a soak in rice vinegar would work well.

    #29
    wesza
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    RE: Vietnamese subs ("Banh Mi") 2003/08/01 22:30:33 (permalink)
    There is something we should be proud of in Seattle, The first Vietmanesse Sandwiches served in the United States started in Honolulu, Hawaii before the end of the Vietnam Conflict, in the Chinatown area across from the Oahu Market, where there was a small Grocery that was making Vietmanesse Pate, Cold Cuts and Seasonings. When a Vietmanesse Bread Baker, made Small French Sandwich Loafs, lines started forming. The Baker and his wife who had worked at the store moved to Seattle, shortly after opened a hole in the wall location at the fringe of the "International District' at Jackson/12th Avenue. They were close to "Pho Bac" Restaurant the first "Pho" Place to open in America a year earlier. They are still in business in the original Pink Shanty on Jackson/Ranier. The first "Pho" place and the first "Banh Mi", to open in the Continental USA. This area now has become a extension of the "International District". Seattle, now has excess of 100 Pho and Sandwich Shops in almost every neighborhood.
    #30
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