Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Banh Mi, Crust, des moines, French Occupations, Pate, Sistas
In a recent blog post by our illustrious Datebook Diner, she “gets down” with one of the greatest sandwiches invented since the invention of sandwiches, the Vietnamese/French delight Bahn Mi. She even takes a little advice from your humble Cook and hits Pho All Seasons (I would eat here just because of the witty name, but luckily the food is good) which has top notch Banh Mi.
She loved it.
The Banh Mi (pronounced “bun ME”) is a Vietnamese sandwich named for the crusty-ish French baguette (actually named Banh Mi) it is served on and usually includes Pate (very French), pickled vegetables (often including carrots, Japanese radish (Daikon), peppers, and onions), Aioli, cilantro, cucumber, and some sort of pork. The sandwich has its origins, if my memory serves me correctly, in the French occupation of the Southeast Asia territory in the late 1800s to the mid-1900’s. The French brought bread and pate into the region which was combined with local staples such as pickles and pork. Did I mention that they are super inexpensive? Well, they are!
I know a guy whom also does a Vegan Banh Mi with braised Seitan. Ask me about it sometime.
Then she asks for advice on where to go for her next Bahn Mi adventure. Herein lies the problem.
How has a critic who has been eating, writing, and passing judgement in Des Moines for TWELVE YEARS managed to avoid eating what evidently really is the city’s BEST KEPT FOOD SECRET? Hmmm. Doesn’t add up. I wouldn’t blame the average person for not knowing about this treat, but would definitely expect a Foodie Veteran to be on top of this. NOT TO MENTION that the Banh Mi has been listed along side Korean food as a TOP FOOD TREND FOR THIS DECADE. C’mon, sista! Get with it!
There are plenty of outlets for your Bahn Mi needs, the afformentioned Pho All Seasons on east 9th a few blocks south of University, Le’s Chinese BBQ on 2nd avenue north of University, Mekong Deli (top secret, you have to find this one on your own), Paris Cafe just north of Le’s (which serves their sandwich with homemade liverwurst and head cheese!), New Oriental Market serves them from a carryout case, as does Double Dragon. Pho Hadao and I believe Lucky Dragon also dish up their version of the Banh Mi. There are more, but the real fun is asking around and finding that next Pate-smeared fix for yourself.
So, now that you all know a little more about a sandwich most of my friends obsess over, buying 6 or 8 at a time, go out and spread the word or just try it for yourself. And for all of you Vegetarian/Vegans who are interested, contact me and we will talk about the Veggie Banh Mi.
Oh, and maybe someone could pass this info on to the Food Writer crowd (not Food Dude, though. He is an in-the-know cat).
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