Locally Grown


The Money Where The Mouth Is Show…

So last week I got some insider info as to a new development at Gateway Market (I am really, really sorry about beating this horse called G.M. into the ground).  It seems that they (aka THE George Formaro) had been working on a Vegan Banh Mi, which of course peaked my interest being both a advocate for the Vegetarian Tribe of the DSM and a Banh Mi Fiend.  Of course as soon as the information broke within the 18 inches of personal space surrounding my much larger actual mass I went straight to the internet.  Here’s how that went down:

Sam Auen Just heard Gateway Market is doing a Vegan Banh Mi. Way to go, where was this kind of support when I was there? Also, if you want a tried and true Vegan Banh Mi contact me, I will start making them for consumption.

Way to jump on the Banh Mi bandwagon! You too DD!

Brandy Lueders

Brandy Lueders

What is that?
June 3 at 8:15pm ·
Sam Auen

Sam Auen

Banh Mi is a traditional Vietnamese usually made with pork, pate, pickled vegetables, aioli, and served on a crusty baguette. It dates back to the French occupation of Southeast Asia.

They are trying to do a vegan version.

June 3 at 8:48pm ·
George Formaro

George Formaro

I will make it for you myself. Let me know when you can come. Its on me. I miss talking vegan food with you !
June 3 at 10:03pm ·
Lindsey Marie Nevins

Lindsey Marie Nevins

i bet it has american cheese on it.
Friday at 12:01am ·
George Formaro

George Formaro

Vegan cheeses lack natural umami , however, with the fact that there is no umami from fish sauce I had to dig into my bag of tricks to replicate the stank and umami of fish sauce, but the vegan jack cheese actually melts !
Friday at 7:56am ·
Sam Auen

Sam Auen

I’m in for a try, George. How does this afternoon or Monday work for you?

FTR, I miss our food talks also.

Friday at 9:16am ·
Sam Auen

Sam Auen

And Brandy, I meant Vietnamese SANDWICH. Whoops.

Linsdey…lol at American Cheese!

Friday at 9:18am ·
George Formaro

George Formaro

Monday sounds good. I am at Centro till 1:45 . Does 2 work at Gateway?
Friday at 10:28am ·
Sam Auen

Sam Auen

Absolutely
Friday at 10:29am
·Phil Shires
Phil Shires

aaahhhh yes. the bahn mi bandwagon. why did it take dsm this long to realize. oh wait, wasnt it me that said bring the bahn mi to the cityview sandwich tasting.
Friday at 10:38am ·
George Formaro

George Formaro

My Django chef Josh B has been a huge supporter of all things 2nd Ave along with Django/Splash Jeremy for a long time. Josh will also give you where to get the best Pho.
Friday at 10:43am ·
George Formaro

George Formaro

Hey Sam, How bout 1:30 on Monday? . I have to be back to Centro at 2
Friday at 10:44am ·
Sam Auen

Sam Auen

Monday is all good
Friday at 10:46am ·

That was the Buzz on my FB page back on the 3rd of June.  Thought I would throw the usual internet fit, and was a little surprised that it was answered by George himself, and a few others.  You get the Idea?  We would have a meeting at G-way M-ket on Monday, George would personally make me a sandwich.  Good Deal for sure.  I would really like to thank Chef Formaro for taking time out of his busy day (this guy defines the term busy) to show no only me what he is working on, but also to simultaneously give a speech to a group of Central Campus students who were touring the facilities.

Ok, this is getting a little too sentimental.  Time for my editor to get back and keep me on track.  (Bathory update: He is currently on leave and working the Southeast Asia Karaoke Circuit.  He is doing quite well, I hear, and stunning people with his raging Mandarin-Chinese rendition of “Take Me To The River”)

ON TO THE SANDWICH!!!!

Here it is...the Formaro Vegan Banh Mi...

The Sandwich was well thought out, Fried Tofu with Vegenaise, cucumber strips, Carrot, Cilantro, and a Vegan approximation of the classic Vietnamese fish sauce (still under development according to George), all served on a toasted South Union Ciabatta.  The flavor and textures were all there, minus the “fishiness” of the fish sauce.  I am normally a fan of the South Union Ciabatta rolls and although it does “work” for the sandwich, it just isn’t quite the same as a soft/crusty baguette roll.  It was a pretty solid sandwich.  I would recommend a few changes, but just little tweaks.  If and when Gateway decides to “drop” this baby it would serve all of you vegans and vegetarians who have been following the Banh Mi nonsense here to get your own piece of the Banh Mi action.  If you have never had one, or will never have one due to your Cuisinal Convictions then try this sandwich.  It will give you a very good idea of what you are/aren’t missing.  I would like to clarify that THIS SANDWICH IS NOT ON THE MENU.  DO NOT GO THERE NOW AND ORDER ONE.  THIS WAS A SNEAKY PEAKY AND NOT A MENU REVIEW.  I, OR SOMEONE ELSE, WILL INFORM YOU ON WHEN YOU CAN GET YOUR VEGAN BANH MI.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

They have to make an actual banh mi baguette. I’d love to see what George’s version of that roll would be like. To me, the roll makes or breaks the banh mi.Looks like an interesting version, though. I’d definitely give it a try, and I eat meat.

Comment by InthewaterDSM

It was good, but the bread issue is definitely an…issue. I am sure they could (and should) just take the plunge and make their own version of the traditional baguette. It would be interesting to see the result. When it comes down to bread, Pho All Seasons wins every time, hands down. If they could replicate the PAS rolls, their Vegan Banh Mi would have the potential to enter the “That Sh#t Is Money” zone.

Comment by locallygrown

one of my favorite sammys to eat. i cant get enough of them. i agree though, needs to be on a roll made with rice flour and ap flour. but im sure its good.

Comment by easy p




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