Saigon City: A Banh Mi That Does the Trick

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

There's a sizable Vietnamese population in D.C. where I moved from, so it's easy to find decent pho and a respectable banh mi. Here? Tougher to find either: It appears South Florida isn't having the same banh mi love affair as elsewhere, which seems about right, since Vietnamese immigrants don't exactly dominate the area's demographics.

One place that's been on the radar is Saigon City in Lauderhill, where I sampled both dishes for lunch. It was here I kicked off "Where Are We Drinking?" last week with avocado bubble tea.

Pho is tremendous for a rainy day: a beef broth with rice noodles,

shaved beef or some meat variation, scallions, Thai basil, jalapeno, hot

chilis or Sriracha, and bean sprouts among other things.

As fun as it is playing mad scientist doctoring a soup with condiments and heat, I crave pho for the broth, made with roasted beef bones, then steeped with caramelized onions and infused with star anise and cinnamon. Once I was at a pho shop while a guy picked up five quarts of it. "What are you cooking?" I asked. "I drink a couple glasses every day for breakfast." It's so delicious I can see why.

A steaming bowl at Saigon City teased the memory of delicious pho, but the broth was disappointingly salty. I slurped through to access flavors I have missed, occasionally sipping broth, wishing it were lovely. Instead, it was like drinking sand.

The banh mi was better, a traditional grilled pork sandwich without the pate layer, heaped with pickled carrots, cucumbers, jalapeno, painted with fish sauce, and garnished with handful of cilantro. The key here is the bread: a French demi-baguette with a crusty exterior and an airy, flavorful crumb. Wrapped like a package in waxed paper, circled with a rubber band, the sandwich and its presentation did not disappoint.

New Times on Facebook | Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook | Melissa on Facebook | Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter | Melissa McCart on Twitter | E-mail Melissa |

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.