On Saturday it was time for another small foray-cation to the East Village, this time to visit one of our favorite sandwich shops, Banh Mì Zòn. The previous weekend, when we visited Tinto Fino and had wine for the first time at Terroir, we knew were leaving out a stop at Banh Mì Zòn, and so we immediately put it on our schedule. They make traditional Vietnamese Banh Mì sandwiches in the style popular in Ho Chi Minh City, old Saigon – in fact, their most popular one’s name is also the title of their shop, Banh Mì Zòn.
While we commonly seek out ethnic food to remind us of a place we have recently visited – our recent search for Mangalitsa pig after visiting Hungary is a good example of that – in this case, we originally sought out Banh Mì Zòn after deciding that we would like to visit Vietnam someday soon, to get a “foretaste” of what is to come. Vietnam is still on our list – in fact, we were recently researching a cruise on the Mekong River given by Amawaterways that begins in Siem Reap, Cambodia (with a visit to Angkor Wat, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World (almost)) and concludes at Ho Chi Minh City.
But now Banh Mì sandwiches are also something that we just love to eat. This re-imagining of French ingredients, toasted baguette and pate and mayonnaise, in a peculiarly Vietnamese way, with daikon, Vietnamese ham and soy sauce, is scrumptious. We’ve made our own at home a few times, based on a recipe on Food Network’s website, but there’s nothing quite as good as what Banh Mì Zòn has to offer. They tell us that “zòn” means “crispy and delicious,” but that’s not the half of it! Put it together with some summer rolls made out of rice paper filled with shredded daikon and mint and shrimp, and a jasmine iced tea, and you will feel like you are halfway to Ho Chi Minh City already!