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Jun 22, 2012 03:42 PM

MSP Banh mi lovers: Where is the head cheese?

Data: my favorite sandwich is the banh mi in its many varieties, and especially the classic that's been available in our twin towns for a long time: pâté, pork loaf, Parisian ham, head cheese. I have a great affection for the other lovely concoctions, but I still miss a "classic" banh mi that has head cheese. I used to get head cheese on my 'classic' at Saigon (now iPho Saigon), but after many take out orders being skunked with the "we have no head cheese" response, I finally asked. Was told that they no longer use it because no one wants it. Huh. Okay...not that it tops everyone's lists, but I still crave it. Have tried tossing on a couple of slices of Boar's Head head cheese when I get take out, but it's just not the same, really.

So my question: does any take-out banh mi place use head cheese in their sandwiches anymore? Am I going to the wrong places? (And I think Saigon does a wicked good job.) Or has this ingredient gone away in the banh mi culture in our cities? If you know of someplace that uses it, yay. If not, do you know of any Asian market that sells the same type of head cheese...Boar's Head just doesn't quite cut it for the banh mi, for me.

Don't even get me started on the wistfulness for Parisian ham...

So...any thoughts?


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  1. Bun Mi in Stadium Village had a head cheese Banh mi last time i was there. I was quite satisfied with it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kolgrim

      Thanks for the tip. I had investigated Bun Mi's menu online, as I've been a little reluctant to deal with all the LRT construction for naught; their menu description of their "classic Vietnamese" sandwich only lists BBQ pork, pork roll and pâté. Will have to check it out!

    2. I was at Lu's Sandwiches at 2718 Nicollet Ave. S. today and noticed they had headcheese listed on their menu.

      Headcheese is one of the ingredient's in their #1 Cold Cut Banh Mi.

      By the way, for any fan's of Lu's, I noticed they had a "Deli For Sale" sign on their front door. I asked the counter person whether they were going out of business, but the assured me they weren't. They're just hoping to move to a better location a few blocks away (although they wouldn't say exactly where or whether that meant larger, so they could add seating).

      2 Replies
      1. re: just_sayin

        How stupid am I. I forgot that my favorite maker of banh mi sandwiches, Hoàng Thiên Ý Deli, right down the block from Lu's, also sells their own version with headcheese (it's a jambon/meatloaf/headcheese combo).

        Hoàng Thiên Ý Deli
        2738 Nicollet Ave. S.
        Minneapolis, MN 55404

        I'm addicted to their banh mi's, although never had the headcheese.

        1. re: just_sayin

          Wow, thank you so much! Lu's looks great...and I'm intrigued by the sour sausage option! Two new-to-me options in one fine block of Nicollet? With head cheese? Definitely on the Must Try list.

          Thanks again, just_sayin!