You know, I never knew why Ben loved sandwiches so much. To me, a sub from a franchise sandwich shop was a bore and the local establishments were good at best. But nothing about a sandwich really made me say, “I’m craving a sandwich.” Then one day I found myself craving banh mi (Vietnamese sub); to me it was nothing like the American sandwich and it was totally in a league of its own. But then I thought about it and realized it was indeed a sandwich and one I craved often. Boy do I feel silly. This entire time I said bleh to sandwiches, but yum to Vietnamese ones. Ben – you can mock me now for being slightly a hypocrite and a bit of a sandwich snob.
Anyways, we’re almost settled into our new home that just so happens to be five minutes aways from Lee’s Sandwiches. You guessed it, I’m in trouble. To know that I am only minutes away from experiencing the yumminess that is this sandwich and I can order one for merely $3 means plenty of lunches from this shop. I’m certain they’ll know me by name in no time.
What’s so great is they bake their own baguettes daily. The recipe is so good because it creates a soft inside and super crispy exterior while developing one of the best flavors I’ve ever tasted in a French baguette. I must get the recipe; I hope they’ll share.
A banh mi sandwich can hold just about anything you can think of. This one has chargrilled marinated pork, carrots, daikon radishes, cilantro, jalapenos and a light spread of what I’m guessing is a mix of mayo and butter (at least that’s what my mom always used as a spread). In other sandwiches, you can find ingredients like pate, cured pork and cucumbers.
May I suggest when you try your first banh mi or just enjoy another one (for you veterans), add a light sprinkling of black pepper and a dash of Maggi Seasoning which is the equivalent to a really, really good soy sauce. Only a little though, this stuff is strong, and please be careful not to spill because it will stain your clothes. But believe me when I say these couple of additions will make you love your sandwich that much more.
Of course, no Vietnamese lunch is complete without a cold can of Yeo’s Soymilk – my favorite. If you’ve never tried soy milk before, you should make this your first experience. All it contains is soy, water and sugar. Enjoy it like milk or even as a sweet ending in place of dessert. You won’t regret it. I will have to show you how to make homemade soy milk one day. It’s super easy, but takes a bit more time than expected to make. Totally worth it though.