Two of my colleagues in food media framed banh mi in interesting ways this week. Amy Sherman, a smart food writer in the Bay Area and blogger at Cooking with Amy, discussed The Banh Mi Handbook in a roundup of cookbooks that can rescue people from lunch ruts. Whether you have kids to pack lunches for, or are doing it just for yourself, things can get boring. Cue Vietnamese sandwiches.
Amy admitted something that I’ve heard from many folks – why make banh mi when you can get decent ones at a deli or banh mi shop? “But I had to wonder, when I can get a terrific banh mi sandwich for just a couple bucks, would I want to make my own?” she wrote. “The answer is YES because Nguyen goes well beyond what you might find at a Vietnamese sandwich shop. . . . These are sandwiches that will make your mouth water!” Read Amy's short-and-thoughtful review here.
I mentioned a while back that Bill Daley of the Chicago Tribune called me about banh mi. His story came out today in the paper and it focuses on putting together sandwich bars for Labor Day. Hamburgers and other grilled fare are usually what most people put on the menu for this very American holiday weekend. It’s our last hurrah for the summer.
I was delighted that Daley wanted to chat and write about banh mi. His audience is the American Heartland – Chicago, land of Bob Newhart (oh, I’m dating myself with 1970s TV, from which I learned a lot about America!). Bill included Hugo Ortega, a Latino chef based in Austin, in the story too. I was cheered to see that the piece was subtly about the broad and varied American food landscape. I love hamburgers, but as you may have noted, The Banh Mi Handbook includes some slider recipes and ideas. Yes, I love to enable. Enjoy the weekend eating and sharing marvelous food.
P.S.... Friday, August 29 is the last day to enter the giveaway to win a FREE copy of The Banh Mi Handbook via the Smithsonian Institute! Enter here.