Monday, August 06, 2007

Bring on the Banh Mi

Not to go all foodie on you, but a couple of years ago there was a big discussion going on about the best Banh Mi place in Portland, whether it was Cali Sandwiches on Glisan or Maxim's on Broadway. Because I was a broadminded sort and always interested in a new taste treat, I checked out several of them. What I found were sandwiches made with a very light, 8" white bun that was split and filled with various chopped vegetables and meat and spread with an aioli dressing. Mostly I found them squishy and not very interesting, even for the $2.50 price tag.

Then our neighbors brought over the Banh Mi from Lanvin and I was knocked out by the difference. The bun, while still light, had much more body than those I'd tried before, and the fillings were way more interesting than the others, with the vegetables and dressing playing off the spicy complexity of the meat. And for the same $2.50, I was sold.

Plus someone at this outpost has some serious pastry chef chops, the case being filled with gorgeous (and appetizing) croissants, pain au noix and buns. Notice the little butter-flake swans in the upper right of the pasty counter (left). And don't be shy about trying their other savory treats like the petit chaud and Banh Bao.

As mentioned below, this place is hidden, tucked away in the parking lot behind the Pho Oregon building. Also, there are no tables, with everything sold to-go, so plan on carting your goodies home or to the nearest park for a memorable picnic. And let me know if you think this place rocks, or if you have a nominee for someplace better. Just click on the comments link below!

Details: Lanvin, 8211 NE Brazee in the parking lot behind the Pho Oregon building. Phone 503-252-0155.

8 comments:

tparr said...

I've always liked Binh Minh (see link below). Their bread is baked fresh and I don't know what they do to their chicken but it's unbelievable....

http://www.altportland.com/eatdrink/food/binh_minh_baker.shtml

I'll have to try Lanvin sometime....thanks for the recommendation!

kab said...

We'll have to check this one out. For the price, you definitely can't go wrong. And let me know what you think of Lanvin!

seh said...

Ok, so speaking of bread...the thing about the mini French baguettes made at Lanvin is that they are crisp and snappy on the outside and light and airy on the inside. Unlike many Ban Minh places around town, or in Vietnamese grocery stores is that they get their bread elsewhere...like Lanvin! So, go to the source and you will have a fabulous, fresh sandwich. My husband, who is vietnamese swears by this shop. :-)

StMaximo said...

I love this place. It's one of the few places worth eating at in this (my) neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to check it out.

Personally, I like An Xuyen and Maxim's. Not so fond of Cali Sandwiches.

kab said...

Thanks for the input. I've not heard of An Xuyen. Where is it?

Anonymous said...

An Xuyen is on SE 54th & Foster. Like Lanvin and Maxim's they are a bakery. They are close to where I live so I eat there from time to time.

Coincidently, this weekend I checked out a fairly new restaurant called Cava, which turned out to be next door. That place is a find as well. Excellent and not expensive food and nice bar. Even more coincidentally, one of the cooks turned out to be an acquaintance, and we got to talking about An Xuyen, and he says yeah, he goes over and eats there too.

:)

kab said...

Thanks for the follow-up. We're also fond of Cava and have been there a couple of times for dinner. Definitely a great addition to the scene!