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Jun 1, 2011 07:03 PM

The Making of Pho Viet's Beef Banh Mi?

Thanks to CH, we have become regulars for Pho Viet’s beef banh mi. Since they reheat well (really) we always get extras. But our last 2 batches have been noticeably too sweet. Has anyone actually SEEN the assembly of said sandwich? I’m wondering if the cane sugar is just in the meat marinade/glaze or if extra is put on either just before it is cooked, or during its cooking, or during the sandwich assembly. If so, I can ask that they leave out that step. Otherwise, bummer.

Pho Viet
1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

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    1. I'm still wondering how a banh mi can reheat well. So much about that notion is counter-intuitive to me. Fresh bread, pickles, herbs, dressing? Can't wrap my mind around it. Do you just reheat the beef?

      13 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Also, OC, is this one of those things you buy a bakers dozen of to throw in the freezer ? Do you nuke the whole thing, sandwich in tact ? I gotta say, I am fascinated.

        1. re: Nab

          Don't know about OC, - I always buy a second, but I eat it cold. Delish! Everytime I think that I could just heat up the meat, but am too lazy/hungry/lazy (don't have a micro, so it might take me 30 seconds longer, lol. Been dieting & lost 18 lbs so far (threedogs is doing a Snoopy Happy-Dance!!) - haven't had any bahn mi for awhile now. If I really want a treat, I figure it into my daily count, but I'm avoiding eating anything out for now, due to the guess-timate factor.

          ying to have my Pho Viet Bahn Mi fix - but going to wait until I lose a bit more to reward myself. %3

          (And I'll probably eliminate bringing home that second for supper, lol...)

          Pho Viet
          1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

          1. re: threedogs

            3dogs, i gotta some advice-a fuh yooze, and it's delish advice. Put away the Sophia's jones and replace it w/ the no-fat jones at Mixx. Tart,Taro, Peach, Lychee, Passion Fruit....... totally perfect, unctuous, satisfying! Can't go to pho viet w/o mixx and vice versa! but now we can't go to either without Esperia as well!

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              Haven't tried it yet - but I will when I get a chance. Been sticking w/regular, grocery store variety of no-fat yogurt lately - but what I'm planning to do is get some of Sophia's yogurt to use as a starter & make my own. :D Found the link to the instructions I'm going to use right here on Chowhound:


              Now if I had an ice cream maker (still keeping my eye out at the thrift shops), then I'd be on my way to the frozen variety. In time, in time.... :D

              Esperia? Haven't been there, either!

        2. re: MC Slim JB

          O.K. I'm sure that by the end of this, I'll look like Mifune at the end of Throne of Blood, but here is what I do%3

          -- Remove banh mi from its plastic bag in the frig. Put the whole banh mi, in its paper wrapper, in the microwave, covered lightly (we use those round or rectangular black plastic w/ clear domed- lid take-out containers for this) on full power for 40 seconds. (This step if to get it to room temp quickly.)

          - remove banh mi from dish and remove paper; put banh mi on metal tray and put on lower rack of toaster oven set to 300 or 350, with an inverted aluminum take-out pan over it. 8-12 min.? til hot. If not crunchy, remove alum. pan and bake a few more minutes. Voila. ( The inverted alum. pan keeps the food item from burning, while efficiently containing the heat inside its walls).

          - I haven't bothered to remove the carrot etc; it stays crunchy( however, the cilantro does wilt); but you could /should.

          We also reheat the Esperia pork gyro, which is wrapped in foil. In this case, we just put the whole wrapped thing in the toaster oven, covered as w/ the banh mi, for 20-30 min til hot. Remove foil last few minutes if you like your bread crispy.

          Now, I'm not saying that my reheated version is AS GOOD as freshly made. I am saying that, for us, (not wanting to do 1+ hr RT air polluting car trips more often than necessary) it works pretty well.

          Plse you guys, don't bother with the slings and arrows. You like your foods fresh; I understand. But if this technique helps anyone, I'm glad.

          Pho Viet
          1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

          1. re: opinionatedchef

            Inadvertently having a half banh mi leftover in the fridge, I thought it the perfect opportunity to test this seemingly ludicrisp method for breakfast today.

            First off, the banh mi smells like a stinky sock when pulled from the fridge. I put it on the counter, made coffee and walked away, second-guessing this breakfast plan.

            Then I grabbed the leftover "house special beef" from One of the Kind and munched on that instead.

            15 minutes later I walked past the sandwich, and rapped the crust a few times with a knuckle to find it still retained a crust of sorts. The underside had gone soft, but the patient was certainly not a DNR, so I decided to undergo the resuscitative measures described above.

            Having already attained room temp more or less, I skipped the nuke, partly also for fear of killing the veggies.

            I slid the sander into a cold toaster oven and turned the dial to 250, opting for a low and slow. At about the 4 minute mark I conducted a brief physical examination finding the top crust to have been fully revived to a flaky crispy crust, but the underside was only about halfway there. Carrots and cukes were still crisp, and cold. Beef and dressing were starting to sweat. 3 more minutes and I yanked it. The underside was not crispy but not soggy, mostly firm. The top was too flaky and crispy, showering shrapnels of crumbs all up in my keyboard. The beef was warm, the dressing wasn't runny, the carrots and cukes and chiles were still cool and crisp, so overall far more a success than ever expected. Not that I expect to have half a banh mi leftover again.

            1. re: Nab

              "this seemingly ludicrisp method"

              Thanks for the morning laugh!

              1. re: Gordough

                I once almost shut the elevator on Ludacris' bodyguard not realizing who I was sharing the elevator with. We got into conversation and Luda then mistakenly thought I referred to him as LudaCRISP further complicating the elevator ride.

              2. re: Nab

                That was my first thought: "Who has banh mi leftovers?" The smell was probably fish sauce, which isn't that pleasant on the nose, but adds a lot of umami on the tongue.


                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  My thought as well, leftovers?? The whole re-heat exercise looked to be futile and useless but, you know, just look at the OP and you''ll understand, just eat the banh mi fresh and enjoy it's best.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Indeed, PV seems to have a heavy hand with nuoc cham or possibly straight nuoc mam. Not sure if they're using it in their pickling brine for the carrots or what. Pickled carrots and daikon can have a pretty nice stank on their own, but the combination of pickles and fish sauce and possibly also butter-mayo and sweet meat sure let off a bomb at fridge temps.

                    The banh mi was never intended to be yesterday's lunch. Half of it was consumed after some "house special beef" (dressed like fuqi fei pian) from OOTK, chicken egg noodle soup and tofu salad from Pho Viet.

                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      "who has bahn mi leftovers?" was exactly the accusation my coworkers assailed me with this morning.

                      I was walking by Saigon Sandwich (I think that's the name... By Mcdee's in Chinatown) after a business meeting late in the afternoon yesterday and couldn't resist.

                      I was going out for dinner in a couple hours so only ate half.

                      Luckily the only casualties were my own yogurt stash and a few odds and ends as I had to leave the fridge open and clean it with wipes.

                    2. re: Nab

                      well, nab, it's an honor if i have been of help.

                2. the counter woman told me that the sugar is in the marinade/glaze. What I've been using on my banh mi, to counter the over-sweetening, is the somewhat soy sauce flavored Bragg's Liquid Amino. yum.