We have a layover in Dallas, and my BBQ experiences here have been horrid, so let’s get the furthest we can with “Banh Shop“, a Vietnamese offering where they don’t even list their sandwiches as “banh mi”.
Vietnamese-ish bland sugary pork meatballs on a baguette with cilantro, pickled carrots, cucumber and daikon is topped with a supposed aeoli that tastes like mayo and nothing else.
The same ingredients, but on lettuce with some bean sprouts and noodles makes up their “Bun” salad. Equally bland. But hit anything with enough Siracha and it becomes palatable.
Only redeeming thing is that they have Vietnamese iced coffee, though the menu doesn’t call it out as it’s buried in fine print under “sofas, coffee, iced coffee”.
I can honestly say every meal I’ve had in Dallas Fort Worth has been disappointing. I’m really disliking this airport.
Modern French bistro decor and soft jazz. Lots of white brick with dark wood and simple framed black and white photos. This is clearly not Chinese! We found ourselves in Nha Trang, a Vietnamese restaurant that’s becoming popular in Hong Kong. Perusing through the English menu found all our usual American Vietnamese delights like Pho and Banh Mi, plus some more Chinified dishes.
I started with my favorite Vietnamese iced coffee, but double-shot to wake me up. Also shown, a sweet drink with orange candied orange peel and candied pineapple which was too sweet and could really have benefitted from the tartness of fresh pineapple.
My wife went with a noodle soup, with a broth a little richer than typical pho. Filled with tender slices of pork, beef, fish cake, and all the usual proteins. The noodles had perfect texture and the broth savory and slightly sweet and spicy – simultaneously rich and light. I was scared by the mention of fish paste in the broth, but I found it amazing!
For myself I selected the pork chop banh mi. They warned me it would take an extra 15 minutes, which surprised me. How long does it take to assemble a sandwich? It didn’t actually take that long, probably because they grabbed pork that had already been cooked – it was clearly not “sizzling” as the menu described. Still good, with a great crispy crust baguette and crispy pork. Too much mayo though kinda killed it all leaving it a bit bland.
So how does Hong Kong Vietnamese compare to the American stuff? While I’ve had much better banh mi sandwiches stateside, I don’t think I’ve ever had pho that could top the rich stuff found here. I guess proximity does help somewhat.