Since leaving home for college in 2004, I haven’t been much of a sandwich person. I’ll occasionally have one, but I generally don’t get too excited about them. There is one big exception to this, though: banh mi! Vietnamese sandwiches have been a part of me since as long as I can remember. During all of our trips to Southern California growing up, we always had multiple banh mi stops, and in Vietnam, the best banh mis of my life were had from random food carts along the street in Quy Nhon and Saigon. In Vietnam, I realized how light and ethereal yet crispy banh mi bread could be, and I found out the best combination of sliced meats, pate, and pickled vegetables to complement that bread. By random luck, I found a great place that almost matched this quality in Dorchester, a suburb outside of Boston, but the second time I went back, the bread quality just wasn’t the same.
I’ve been lucky and through thorough research of food blogs and sites, I’ve found the best banh mi at Ba Xuyen in Brooklyn. The most ironic thing about this is that generally speaking, New York is actually lacking in a wide variety of good Vietnamese food. It’s quite a trek from where we live, but I’ve even gotten Chris wanting to travel all the way out to Sunset Park in Brooklyn for this sandwich. It could arguably be the best sandwich on earth to both of us.