A Sandwich a Day: Dac Biet Bánh Mì from 2 Asian Brothers
Whenever I try a new pizzeria, I always make sure to order one pie with only cheese, just to get a sense whether the restaurant can handle the basics (plus a good margarita pizza is about as great as food gets). What's this have to do with the bánh mì? Well, these Vietnamese sandwiches can be stuffed with all manner of differing fillings, but I always go for the classic trio of sliced pork, headcheese, and pâté when I'm trying a restaurant for the first time. This is a sandwich based on aggressive and assertive flavors, and if the balance is off, it can be a mess.
In this test, 2 Asian Brothers in North Park gets about everything right for the Dac Biet ($4.50). The bread could be a little crispier and lighter, but the meats were spot on, especially the pâté. There was also a good helping of pickled carrots and daikon, plus enough jalapeño to give each bite some real heat. In this case, the sandwich looks a lot like the other top quality bánh m's in town (see: Nhu' Lan and Ba Le), except that it is bigger—like a whole forearm long. So don't be embarrassed to bring along a friend to help you finish off one of these things.