New Favorite Sandwich   3 comments

Báhn Mì

Since I first had one in my early teens, my favorite sandwich has been the New Orleans classic, the muffuletta. I suspect, however, since moving to Ohio about eighteen years ago, there was a large portion of nostalgia in it. Unless I take the time to build it from the ground up, I can only get one once or twice a year, when I travel to Louisiana. It’s just as well–it’s not exactly health food.

Almost ten years ago, I got to watch a show on PBS titled “Sandwiches You Will Like.” Some of them–such as brain or pig ears and snouts–were more than a little off-putting. Others, such as falafel, were intriguing.

One sandwich proved elusive for years. Bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich, which combines Asian flavors with a form similar to a po boy–definitely reflecting the historical influences of that land. It is served on an airy form of French bread, with a variety of meat, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and peppers. It was elusive. I saw the program about ten years before I was able to go get one.

Le's CafeIt was awesome! There was a nice combination of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors, and the bread had a good crunch to it. The first one I got was from Pho Lang Thang, a Vietnamese restaurant in Findley Market. It was great, however, not convenient for our normal routine.

However, I recently discovered Le’s Cafe. It used to be located in the main library, but recently opened their own cafe downtown. It’s not exactly close to my office–in fact, it’s a decent hike, but still do-able. Le’s is clearly a family run operation, and I think they are starting to recognize me (I think I’ve made a weekly pilgrimage for the last few months). They have great bánh mì, and the price is quite reasonable ($4 for a sandwich). They also serve rotisserie chicken and pho (a Vietnamese soup)–at some point, I may need to branch out.

I suppose bánh mì has become my favorite sandwich, displacing two-and-a-half decades of muffuletta dominance. Better still, it’s much less-bad for me than it’s predecessor. I’m glad I took the chance to branch out, and was able to find something new. I’m looking forward to finding other places to try bánh mì.

Posted 2013-05-28 by Mr. Guilt in Cincinnati, food

3 responses to “New Favorite Sandwich

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  1. Come visit Seattle again. There are Vietnamese places on every corner, literally two choices for Bahn Mi within a block of my office, and Pho everywhere as well. I’ll take you on a culinary tour!

  2. I LOVE Bánh mì. First had it from a great Vietnamese gourmet food truck and was instantly addicted. But I’m not allowed to say the name out loud because I always pronounce it incorrectly and my pronunciation translates in Vietnamese as “shit”.

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