Vietnamese Sandwiches: Banh Mi
Whenever I make a trip back to the suburbs, I’m always excited at the prospect of enjoying some of my mom’s home cooked meals: fried rice, egg rolls and everything else you can imagine. However, sometimes the rare occasion arises when I actually look forward to eating out more than I look forward to tucking into Mama Nguyen’s cooking (Mom, I hope you’re not reading this right now). Cue this weekend and my craving for Vietnamese sandwiches, otherwise known as banh mi.
Don’t get me wrong, my mother is the best cook I know, but sometimes it’s just easier for all parties involved to grab takeout. I take full advantage of her cooking prowess, but I get the feeling that if I were to ever ask her to bake a fresh baguette, make her own pate, pickle her own vegetables, prepare the required meats and then assemble everything just so that I could satisfy my banh mi craving, she’d disown me. For occasions like this, we go to Eden Center in the Seven Corners section of Falls Church.
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you probably know that Eden Center is the mecca for Vietnamese food and culture in the DMV. In my opinion, this is the place to go for banh mi. I know there are a number of new restaurants and food trucks popping up around D.C. that offer banh mi such as BONMi and Simply Banh Mi.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have yet to eat at any of them. Why mess with a good thing? When I go to Eden, I head straight to Banh Mi So 1 and order their combination ham and pate sandwich which is served on a freshly baked baguette and stuffed with veggies. Just the way I like it. Thee best part? It costs less than $4. I’m fairly certain no D.C. sandwich shop can compete with that.
I’m sure the day will come when I find myself craving banh mi with no way to get to Eden. Maybe then I’ll venture out and test one of the aforementioned restaurants and food trucks, but until that time arrives, I’ll be making the trek out to Falls Church for these tasty sandwiches.
A native of Northern Virginia, Lanna is a full-time marketing professional. Outside her cube, she can be found roaming D.C. for the perfect brunch spots, discovering new restaurants and trying to recreate all of her mom’s recipes. When she’s not out finding new ways to expand her waistline, you can catch her at her favorite spin studio attempting to offset her foodie appetite.