Banh Mi and Pho!

Posted: September 25, 2014 in Food

Glad to find out there is new Vietnamese Banh Mi place in town opened by two Texan born brothers with their love for Southeast Asian food and guess what they are not even Vietnamese! But no worry they got some serious help, Phuong with 100 year old recipe…original owner of Banh Mi Phuong street stand in Hoi An, who was also in Anthony Bourdain “No Reservation”. Told you its serious as name dropping, and 100 year old recipe, but wait a minute …making me wonder how long Banh Mi has been in Hoi An? Or how old is Phuong? Why dont they serve Cao Lau, which is Hoi An dish? Dang banh mi is also serving Pho? That’s a northern dish just in case you dont know. Is this a smart business move for these brothers investors? By combining two favorite Vietnamese  dishes everyone know about at one stop “killing two birds with one stone?” I havent made my way to their place yet. I’m hesitate and doubtful, or just my imagined national pride is blocking my way…dont blame me yet, here is the other story why i am being like this.

Last week, my husband and I decided to try a new Pho place with an opened mind, which is called Phonatic and its good rating at Yelp. Of couse it was a disappointment! Pho broth was weak, little meat and fresh veggies, no bean sprouts, getting your own sauces, chopsticks and napkins…and of course your own drink….thought i was at McDonald or Taco Bell not my local Pho joint. Its not because I dont appreciate the self served section and not because there is no one waiting on me and I gave them bad review. I love the different setting they have even its different from what I know.

Here are my 3 things about them.

1) Its a Pho place, your signature dish is disaster. It is tasteless, got no flavor. Even as a person who doesnt love Pho as much as others, I dont appreciate Pho got no flavor, you have to use all the sauce to make it taste some flavor, as a Pho restaurant you failed! Because Pho is all about the broth, soup, flavor…all in! Nothing but too much noodles.

2) Your Bo Kho, which is beef stew tasted like Pho! This is so wrong, if I want Pho, I wouldn’t order Bo Kho…and Bo Kho is not served with steam bun but with french bread/ roll or noodles. Steam bun is more Chinese or Filipino food…not with our Bo Kho! Again nothing in the stew except too much noodles.

3) The cashier, order taker cant even pronounce the word PHO correctly. Shouldn’t this included in your employees training? Hope they know what they are selling even they cant say it correctly.

Trust me, i held back the comment about their Vietnamese spring rolls!

Okay are you ready for this? Im saving the best for last….Diana Tran, chef who combined the two best Vietnamese dishes into one, which is called Pho sandwich….I havent tried it since she is San Francisco but heard she got good review from her customer. You can read one of the review here

and she serves her Pho Banh Mi at Muffins Muffins…sounds like a desserts place to me. Is that why they have twice layers of Mayo in their sandwich and no pate?

Muffins Muffins Pho Banh Mi
Layer in order:
French roll bottom half
Thinly sliced cucumber
Fresh basil leaves
Thinly sliced beef slathered with a mixture of hoisin and Sriracha
Thinly sliced raw red onions
Thinly sliced jalapeño
Grated pickled carrots
French roll top half

I am not sure who I feel about this, keep my mind opened to try some when I get a chance to stop by Muffins Muffins. Totally given the chef for the innovation and for demonstrating power of Vietnamese food.

Note to self “Dang Banh Mi” and “Muffins Muffins” ….


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