Greensboro Banh Minh Sandwiches
- Quazi Aug 6, 2004 01:06 AM
I was able to travel today to another greenboro Asian restaurant. Next to Saigon this is my favorite gso asian place. Though admittedly I only order one item, the roast pork banh minh.
It is called Pakse cafe and is located in the shopping center at the corner of Freeman mill and Florida St.
The sandwich is great and cheap at that. each of the ban minh cost $2.50. Cheaper that any extra value meal and fresher to boot. The bread is very good for bread that is shipped in(from VA I believe). then comes a garlicky mayonnaise and a thin smear of pate. Not sure of the pate type whether pork or chicken, but it is mousse like in texture. Then comes some great roast pork. Looks like it have a smoke ring but it lacks smoke flavor. I am guessing it is from a marinade. the sandwich is topped wiht pickled carrots and onions as well as peppers and cilantro.
They also offer chicken, ham and a roast pork and ham sandwich. When I last tried the ham and roast pork(under the prior owner I believe) it was like the oscar mayer luncheon ham stuff in the grocery store, not good at all. Though I recently tried the chicken and it was much improved over the last time I had it.
I also tried another item that I'll call a Laotian tamale. It came wrapped in a banana leaf and was sticky rice filled with ground pork. To my tastebuds the flavor was a bit uneven. The sticky rice had lost all of its rice texture and was exactly like the cornmeal in a tamale. Most of the pork was not well seasoned enough for me. Not enough pork flavor and not enough oher flavors either. At times I could not distinguish between the intentionally bland rice and the pork filling. It tasted way better when I added some chow chow and I would imagine it would be good with hot sauce. But for $1 it was worth a try. They also sell asian sodas and sometimes desserts. Occasionally they will have other asian snacks.
They also led me to my first Pho experience - more on that another time.
BTW, there is a full service Vietnamese restaurant at the end of the shopping center. The menu is close to saigon, often with more exotic ingredients(jackfruit and durian shakes). But the service is poor and the flavors are not as fresh as saigon. And the ambience is non existent.
Actutally the Pho was a Phundraiser. The owner of Pakse gave me a flyer one day for a church fundraiser. a church in high point was selling bowls of pho to raise money. The pho was good to me you could add the amount of chilies, sprouts or herbs you wanted. I think it was in a house owned buy the church or the minister. small crowd who all knew each other but the hospitality was very good.
Their pho was better than the pho @ Binh minh(sp) on west market.
I think they will have another one in September
'Pakse' is a city in SW Laos not too far from the Thai border. So is the Pakse Cafe a
Lao place or a Vietnamese place? I would definitely go out of my way to find a decent Lao restaurant. And thanks for the clarification that Rearn Thai has only moved and not shut down. It'd be a real bummer if the seemingly most highly recognized Thai place in a city the size of Greensboro had to shut it's doors.
As initialdrew says it is primarily vietnamese. They supply banh mi to most of the vietnamese coffee shops in town. Van Loi being one exception. I prefer to get mine at the source - freshness is really the key. They occasionally offer Lao dishes. The owners are from Laos. They may have fried salted beef, sticky rice dishes, a mix of chili and dried fish etc. If you go ask or look in the drinks case for anything unusual. Last year they had some southeast asian fruits like rambutan, or longan.
Relatives of the owenr used to own the store in high point called Pakse - an asian grocery on Main st that has seen better days.