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Friday
Sep102010

Bánh Mì DC Sandwich

*Post by Angela.

Another shameful secret comes out here, folks - I've never had a bánh mì. I'll give you a moment to digest (see what I did there?!) that information. I've heard so many wax rhapsodic on this French-influenced Vietnamese staple, and have seen upscale versions offered at nice restaurants across the country, yet I've never actually eaten one. Because they are rock star foodie adventurers, when D & J heard this shocking disclosure on Saturday, they insisted on taking me to Bánh Mì DC Sandwich in Falls Chuch, despite our still full stomachs from lunch at China Star.

 

 

Bánh Mì DC Sandwich is half Vietnamese deli, half Asian food store. I desperately need one of these in my neighborhood. I wanted to leave with a couple of bags of foodstuffs, but I was about to Metro it to Clarendon to hang out at Northside Social for a few before meeting with friends for a third food outing. So I attempted to close my eyes to all the wonders for sale around me and focus on the massive menu of bánh mì variations offered.

 

 

J vouched for the vast majority of the menu items, but I decided to keep it simple for my first go at a new food, going with the grilled pork bánh mì. I didn't tear into it right away, but waited until I had wriggled my lunch into a more accommodating place in my stomach and had perched on a bench in Clarendon before trying my sandwich.

 

 

In a word, the sandwich was magnificent. I don't know whether to be grateful or angry that J & D introduced me to this wonder, because it's all I've craved for lunch for the past week. The perfectly crusty bagette was slightly hollowed out (leaving only my favorite part of the bread!) to make room for the delightfully tangy and crunchy pickled carrots, daikon, bell peppers and cucumber, the fresh cilantro, and the slightly sweet and smokey grilled pork. I had meant to take only a few bites and save the rest for later, but I annihilated my bánh mì. If I had a car, I'd be heading out to Bánh Mì DC Sandwich every weekend. Somebody PLEASE tell me you can get a comparable bánh mì in the District...

Banh Mi DC Sandwich on Urbanspoon

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    iFlipForFood - I Flip For Food Posts - Bánh Mì DC Sandwich

Reader Comments (17)

Eden Center (in Seven Corners or Bailey's Crossroads - I am constantly confusing the two) has a whole bunch of other options for banh mi. It's closer than DC Sandwich. I've had both and Song Que (in the far left corner of the center) is every bit as good, has the mini food market and also SEATING and BUBBLE TEA. I could eat banh mi every day.

September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

Amber-
Thanks for the tip! I also could eat banh mi every day. I might try to do just that, if our new neighborhood in L.A. offers convenient locations...

September 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterAngela

how we like make our presence memorable, introduce people to bahn mi.

So glad you enjoyed it. Mark needs to get his hands on one so he can see how much this kicks potbelly ass.

September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebb

Debb-
We might drop by Dickson's Wine Bar this weekend, rumor is they have a pretty decent banh mi. Thank you for introducing me to my new favorite food. Also, damn you.

September 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterAngela

nom nom nom nom. i love this place. i could eat these every day and never get sick of it

September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

also:

@amber - song que is great, but Nhu lan sandwich shop in the Eden Center is even better!!

September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Evan-
ARGH! Eden Center again! No car, remember? Okay, I need to find my way to the Eden Center somehow and then eat everything that they have there. At least once.

September 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterAngela

I love how you went to China Star and Banh Mi DC in the same day! Eden Center is worth a trip before you head to LA. I found it helpful to go with a Vietnamese friend of mine who spoke the language and knew which spots were the best and what to order. Haven't heard of any banh mi places in the District proper, but bet you'll find your share of them in LA.

PS It was great to finally meet you on Thursday! xoxo

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCity Girl

CG-
Oh, I haven't even finished with my food-packed Saturday - I still have to talk about my dinner at Peking Gourmet Inn! Taking a Vietnamese friend with me to Eden Center is a great tip - there seem to be a lot of different places to choose from there, and I'd want someone with me to hand-hold. I was so happy to meet you too - I'm such an avid reader of your blog, so it was really great to put a name with the stories!

September 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterAngela

I love your blog! I don't what I'm going to do when you move :-( This post was awesome and honestly, after reading this I am rewarding myself with banh mi after I get my school work done this afternoon. You'll have to find the Nom Nom truck out west!

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGina V

Gina-
I'm so glad you like the blog! We're still going to do it when we move...it'll just be L.A. stuff. :( Where do you get your banh mi? I'm like a woman on a mission now - want one all the time!

September 13, 2010 | Registered CommenterAngela

I trekked all the way to Falls Church to Banh Mi DC Sandwich yesterday! And let me say it was well worth it. I followed your advice and got the pork and it was to die for! I also got a tofu sandwich to eat later for dinner and it didnt enjoy it as much. No fault of the sandwich or its makers - it just paled in comparison to the pork one. :-) I've heard rumors of a banh mi place in Chinatown, which is close to where I work in DC, so I'm sure I'll be exploring that soon. Ill let you know if I find a good one.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Sigh. You just reminded me how wonderful it was. I bet the tofu was good, but part of the reason I loved the pork banh mi so much was the sweetness and savoriness of the grilled pork. WONDERFUL. I might be in Chinatown tomorrow night, and will try to do some research and track the place down. I will definitely keep you up to date.

September 13, 2010 | Registered CommenterAngela

nice write up. unfortunately, to answer your question about where there is banh mi in dc, there isn't. there is no banh mi in dc that i know of after 5 years of searching. there used to be one in chinatown. they made a pretty good sandwich, a little small, and it cost about $5 which is ridiculous. finally, fyi, i think the classic combo with pate is the best sandwich on the menu followed by either the grilled or bbq pork. 1 of them, grilled or bbq, is significantly better but i can never remember which. however, i've developed a work around: since i too have no car, live in dc, and engage in a major schlep to get there i buy 5 sandwiches every time (don't forget, buy 5, get an extra for free!). usually, i buy 2 combos, 1 or 2 bbq or grilled pork each, and 1 random to keep trying new sandwiches. the bread kind of dies, but i usually stash a couple of sandwich in the fridge for lunch or later in the day. the flavors hold up when i do this, plus, after eating at least 2 in 1 sitting the roof of my mouth is usually destroyed so eating softer bread later is kind of a bonus.

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

David, you are a genius. If I go again, I will buy several - I just couldn't this time because I was not headed home for awhile. I'm hoping they will be easy to find when we get to LA!

September 14, 2010 | Registered CommenterAngela

My husband and I took time from work to try banh mi's at DC Banh Mi Sandwich, and ordered 2 grilled porks, based on your comments and those of others. Can't wait to try it again when I'm in the area Weds. for work! Pho at Pho Nam in Gaithersburg by Home Depot? Day couldn't have been better!

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbarbara

Oh, yay! I'm so glad you liked it! If I was going to be in DC for longer, I'd want to go back and try every single variation...

September 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterAngela

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