My wife and I always try to support restaurants in our immediate neighborhood. So last week, despite my general aversion for any food entity that puts the word “Co.” in its name (except for Bread Co.), we went to Banh Mi & Co. Although it’s been here for a little while (less than a year), it’s still relatively new.
The weather was really nice on this particular day, so we took the dog and the baby. But we’re still kinda new at this parenting thing, so we have no idea how to dress a child. It was 70 degrees. And she was in her North Face yeti costume. I know she looked really uncomfortable, but she actually napped the whole time we were out.
My wife went in to the actual restaurant. Since we had the dog, I waited outside.
It would turn out that things took forever. My wife ordered some spring rolls, which they forgot to make at first. We weren’t in any particular hurry, but if we had been, we would have been annoyed.
Once we got back home, we dove in to our lunches. The spring rolls looked surprisingly fancy. And they tasted nice. Dipping sauce was good, too. But they were missing something. They were too delicate. Or not salty enough.
I actually wish the spring roll portions were smaller. And crunchier. In fact, I wish they instead offered like a side order of egg rolls. I don’t know why it is that no banh mi shop has figured out that Americans want a side dish with their lunch, like fries at McDonald’s or chips at Subway. Drives me crazy. It’s why Sbarro’s, which sells pizza for goodness sake, went bankrupt. They couldn’t figure out what the lunch side should be. Either that, or they should have made it cheaper for me to eat three slices for lunch.
The sandwich I got was a saigon classic or saigon special or something like that. It was their take on the traditional banh mi. It had ham, another kind of processed pressed pork product whose description grosses out my wife, mayo, pickled carrots, cilantro, and sometimes pickled daikon, I think. And it’s served on a baguette, which I’m told is a result of French imperialism. And presumably, the baguette is also where the banh mi gets its name, as banh does sound to me how I would imagine a Vietnamese person would pronounce the french word for bread. But then again, the Korean word for bread is bang, so maybe the banh has an asian etymology.
Regardless, the sandwich was delicious, as all banh mi’s should be. Pork on fatty pork with mayo. How could that not be delicious? Plus, a banh mi seems to be the only place where cilantro actually makes sense to me. As far as non-ahogada or non-dunked sandwiches go, I think the traditional banh mi is just about perfect.
My wife got a sandwich with chicken in it. Hers was quite nice too. I expected the chicken to make the sandwich really dry and boring, but it was neither. The bread at Banh Mi & Co. is quite nice, too. Really crusty outside. Delicious inside. Perfect for the variety of wet-ish ingredients that typically go inside.