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vietnamese banh mi sandwich
Photo: pravin.premkumar on Flickr

This was certainly a historic year for the queen of exotic sandwiches: The banh mi. Not only does this perfectly filled baguette continue to engage our taste buds with its contrasting textures of tender, fatty meat and pickled veggie crunch, but in March of 2011, banh mi was added to the Oxford English Dictionary with such other linguistic staples like auto-correct, luchador and jet-set. We have never been prouder.

New York City boasts an impressive volume of banh mi shops, but the consistent and seemingly endless line outside of Baoguette is a testament to its addictive sandwiches. The fried catfish bao and “sloppy bao,” a bull’s eye of a play on that wild sweetheart of the school lunch menu, are both excellent choices. The classic bao, however, steals the show with its hearty chunks of pork belly, slice after tender slice of pork terrine and generous smear of pork liver pâté — all made in-house. Dressed simply with house-pickled carrots, daikon and jalapeno, fresh, grassy cilantro, a squeeze of that red nectar, sriracha, and a splash or two of fish sauce (without which, Vietnamese and Thai food simply would not exist), the classic bao is one of the tastier results of French colonialism we’ve encountered thus far.  

Hungry for more Sandwich of the Week action? Sink your teeth into these:

Okay, Food Republic friends, it’s time to nominate favorite sandwiches from around the world. Drop us a line at editorial@foodrepublic.com or share your thoughts in the comments.