Pho 888 offers a delicate but filling take on the Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich.
'banh mi' on Serious Eats
It's too easy to walk into Ba Le, take one look at the menu, and order the Number 1: the classic bánh mì. But next time you're craving the assurance of satisfaction that comes with a well-known classic but want something a little different, the Meatball Bánh Mì ($3.95) is a great place to start.
Much like finding a great bagel shop, bánh mì sandwich places are an insanely difficult thing to track down in the Loop. In fact, a little nosing around on Google came up with only one place: Bánh Mì Express Sandwiches.
When I'm craving some some porky south Asian grub that's as delicious as it is portable, I head to Wicker Park's Bon Bon Sandwich.
In addition to the standard cilantro, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrots, and our friend the jalapeño, the Frenchman bánh mi from Saigon Sisters also packs duck confit, pickled mustard seeds, candied kumquat, and rouille. That may sound like a lot for one humble French roll to handle, but it all works.
The best bánh mìs are all about contrasts, and this one is right on point. The warm baguette is the perfect foil to the chilled ham, headcheese, pâté, and pork rolls that make up the meat of the sandwich. The pickled carrots and daikon are enlivened by the fresh cilantro. The cool cucumber and spicy jalapeño cut the rich, creamy pâté.
The best bánh mì in Chicago? [Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger] Nhu' Lan Bakery 2612 W. Lawrence, Chicago IL 60625 (map); 773-878-9898 The Short Order: Freshly baked bread and perfect bánh mì. Want Fries with That? Nope, but some shrimp chips are...
"The tofu...looks and texturally feels almost like the tender ribeye on a Philly cheesesteak." [Photograph: Michael Nagrant] I've finally found a reason to stop making fun of vegetarians and to become one myself: lemongrass tofu banh mi at Nhu Lan,...