Thursday, December 23, 2010

Banh Mi Battel-Kent WA

What: #4 Grilled Pork Banh Mi
Where: Pho Saigon Restaurant
25632 Pacific Highway South
Kent WA 98032
How Much: $?

Banh Mi. The words give me pause and cause me to wonder just what and where is the perfect Banh Mi sandwich shop.  I realize I have just scratched the surface, so it is time to widen the search.

(readers, cue The Clash - Washington Bullets) (clicking on link should open YouTube in a new browser tab so you can hear my selected audio track playing, but you will have to click back on this tab to return)

This day's travels took me to Kent WA for work. We were able to send out for lunch.  Panera was the option, but I asked Tabanhmi to do me the big favor and get me a fix. She had surprised me the day before and had Five Guys Burger and Fries waiting for me when I arrived from the airport.  I was able to convince three other co-workers to make the leap beyond the ordinary. No one I work with knows about my alter ego, so it was a bit hard to explain why I was taking pictures of my food.  I did mumble something about blogging about food to one co-worker, but I think he thinks I was kidding and was testing out my new phone or going to pic text a mutual co-worker. I do have a bit of a reputation as a Luddite (go ahead, laugh away POTN) or at least anti-social networking.  After all, I have just started to text in the last two months. I really think that phones are made to talk into, not to use as an appliance to segregate and prioritize communications to and from your family, friends and business partners.

Banh Mi University graduate?  Yeah, I guess. Note the white deli wrap (though way bigger than I am used to) and elastic as one would expect.  The bread was the big downfall.  For me, the most important part of a sandwich is the bread. It was a fresh and chewy inside, but maybe due to the rainy Pacific Northwest weather, the crust was barely crisp.  The skin inside my mouth was safe, but I just could not get past the lack of crunchy bread shards. The meat was there in quantity and tasty, not at all fatty. The size of the pork pieces were average.  The pork was thin and long and apparently marinated in a somewhat hot sauce.  Plant material quality was very good.  Cilantro was crisp, but not exactly generous. there was no hint of darkness on the leaves.  Carrots and daikon also very crisp and tasty, though also not generous and there was no onion.  The cucumber was fresh, but thin.  The smear of mayo was a little light.  There were jalapenos, but they did not seem too hot.  Sandwich had a relatively weak afterburn.  Sandwich size was comparable to most.  Since work picked it up, I did not see how much.

Check the title link for info on Pho Saigon Restaurant.

I'd give it 3.5B/6

(__!__) (__!__) (__!__) (__!

A decent banh mi.  Tabanhmi, thanks for indulging me and allowing me to expand my search out,  but somehow with a larger Asian community out west, I had higher hopes.


Pho Saigon Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Mario - Love the posts about banh mi sandwiches, keep them coming. I <3 Banh Mi. That's nice that your job always for you to travel around the country. Merry Christmas!

Mario Buttali (no relation to the famous chef) said...

Thanks Anonymous!
Obviously, I <3 Banh Mi too. To celebrate Christmas Eve (among other things), I made my brothers (and most of their family) and mother go to Super 88. No blog about it, but a great time had by all. My mom liked the Dim Sum place in the corner (she also tried some of my Banh Mi and liked it). I had two beef (and a scallion pancake for good measure) from Pho Viet. You just can't beat that to start off a holiday!
now onn to New Years!

Meilee Anderson said...

Mario, nicely done on this blog entry. I appreciated your detailed description. Could I use the photos you took at the restaurant to display them on a tourism website for the area? You took such crisp images I'd love to share them with our visitors. I can't compensate you for the images but I could give you photo credit. You can contact me at 877.885.9452 or post a comment on your blog. I'll check back on your blog to see if I've been granted permission.

Meilee Anderson