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In my review of the banh mi sandwich when I covered QT Sandwich Shop in Philly (Click Here for QT review) I said this: "The banh mi gets off to a perfect start with a fresh French mini-baguette, which is then lightly toasted for extra crunch. Inside, you get a blend of Viet cold cuts that resemble American ham or pork, but with an extra infusion of savory and exotic flavor. They toss in some pork pate, some fish sauce, mayo, fresh and pickled vegetables that really crunch, jalapeno that offers snap but not fire, and sprigs of cilantro to make all the flavors dance. The soft but crisp bread, the salty earthiness of the meat and sauces, and the fresh crunch of the vegetables: it is Yin, Yang, and Yowza."
I ordered the #1 banh mi at the counter (they have maybe 6 varieties, including one meatball and one chicken). Its composition was much like the one described above, except it also had a delightful dose of BBQ pork in there. The counter lady asked if I wanted it spicy; I said yes.
How was it? The roll was sublime. An incredibly fresh baguette, lightly toasted and still warm. I think I saw some evidence of jalapeno, but there was no discernible heat. It had a creamy smear of mayo, a good balance of crunchy vegetables and salty meats, and that superb roll. Absolutely delicious if a tad tame. The $4.00 sandwich with a $1.00 Coke made for one true bargain lunch.
This is the best banh mi I've had outside of QT in Philly. Let's give 9 stars to Thanh Da for their banh mi. Kick up the spice and it's close to a 10.