Late last week, Yum! Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC and other well-known fast food chains, unveiled a new concept restaurant in Dallas -- Banh Shop. I wrote about this development a few months back and was curious about what they would offer once the Texas outposts opened their doors. There has been business world buzz from Huffington Post, BusinessWeek, etc., as well as skepticism from many banh mi lovers who scoffed at the $5 to $7 prices; I am okay with the numbers.
Huff Post interviewed me for its story and I maintain my position that as an author, teacher and consultant, I aim to get people to make Vietnamese food part of their regular rotation of food. If you want to make good Vietnamese food, you should learn the rules before you break them. So what do I think about Banh Shop?
I've not tasted the banh mi and other dishes because I don't live in Dallas. This is an experimental thing for Yum! Brands. But what I have seen from official photos posted at media outlets seem slightly odd. Banh mi is a type of fast food in Vietnam but what we're talking about here is the Americanized version of fast food. A McDonaldization, if you will.