100 Favorite Dishes 2013: No. 63, Bánh Mì at Les Givral's Sandwich & Cafe
This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston foodscape. It's a list to drool over.
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg I forgot to take a photo until I'd already eaten half. Sorry.
Houston has an incredible wealth of Vietnamese food, particularly in Midtown, which I understand was often referred to as Little Saigon (and sometimes still is) before a mass exodus of many of the old Vietnamese shops and restaurants. Though the cultural artifacts have been replaced by the likes of Starbucks and Chipotle, the area has been experiencing a slow renaissance. Then, of course, there are the Vietnamese spots out on Long Point Road and in Chinatown, and the delicious little spot that is Café TH in East Downtown.
As such, most Houstonians have a favorite spot to get one of Vietnamese cuisine's quintessential dishes: Bánh mì.
Though bánh mì literally means "bread" (usually a baguette), the name has become synonymous with a certain style of Vietnamese sandwich on French bread. The hefty but inexpensive 'wich is usually stuffed with a protein, cucumber, shredded carrots, cilantro, fish sauce and jalapeños or other spicy peppers.
The bánh mì at Les Givral is one of my favorites.