I assured the woman at Mei Sum Bakery I’d be back in to their Banh Mi (an inexpensive Vietnamese sandwich); fourteen weeks and dozens hot dog buns later, I kept my promise. I really wish I hadn’t waited that long; $2.75 buys a fantastic sandwich.
Watching her make the thing was another story. Nothing gross or un-hygienic: it just didn’t look promising. The sandwich started with what appeared to be a supermarket deli roll- the ones that come in plastic bags of six, dry on the inside, leathery on the outside. The kind I really hate- a deal breaker.
She toasted it, slathered the inside with something, then dropped it under the broiler again. Could have been pate, could have been… anything. I imagined the mystery stuff separating (breaking like a sauce) and turning everything into a soggy mess.
But I imagined wrong. The the lightly-toasted barbeque beef sandwich could beat any Banh Mi on a French Roll any day of the week. It was a bit crisp on the outside, tender inside, and salty, sweet, and spicy hot. Not at all what I expected after watching her prepare this thing.