Not too long ago, we made an argument that pierogies should join the ranks of pizza and bagels to create a trilogy of the most discussed and debated foods in the city.
This tidy, friendly postage stamp-size of a place has what seems like a mile-long menu, and yet they mysteriously create all of it in a small kitchen right in front of you.
According to the staff, Banhmigos (178 Lincoln Place near 7th Avenue) opened about four years ago and also has another location in Crown Heights (636 Park Place between Classon and Franklin Avenues).
In addition to banh mi, the place serves up Vietnamese spring rolls, vermicelli salads, and “rice boxes” (jasmine rice topped with your selection of meats or fish, tofu, or veggie chicken). The pho dishes are served only at their Crown Heights location.
So, how about the “amigo” (sort of) in the name? The place offers a “taco” riff on the banh mi sandwich. The dish consists of two soft tortillas which can then be filled with any of the banh mi ingredients.
On an early Monday afternoon, the place was full of regulars who were reciting their lunch orders from memory. The first person ordered a “Traditional” Banh Mi ($7.25, additional meat is $2 for any sandwich) which consists of Vietnamese ham, liver pate, and roasted ground pork. He ordered it spicy with a Honeydew bubble tea (12oz for $3.50, and 16oz for $4.25).
Next up was a regular who ordered the Beef Short Ribs Vermicelli Salad ($8.50) with a large coffee bubble tea.
Both got their items to go. The place has four window seats, so it’s not much of a dine-in restaurant, Having said that, I enjoyed a quiet lunch looking out the window.
I ordered the extremely satisfying Shredded Chicken banh mi ($7) with a cool and creamy Matcha bubble tea.
The sandwich bread was crunchy and warm. While I it ordered spicy, the fillings were a bit on the mild side. However, the crispiness of the pickled carrot and daikon perfectly complemented the shredded chicken. This one is highly recommended.
The tea selection is impressive, including both condensed milk and non-dairy creamer options.
Banhmigos had a steady flow of what continued to be returning customers, and does a brisk delivery business as well. After tasting their sandwich, the loyal following makes perfect sense.
Because of its location just off 7th Avenue, Banhmigos could be easily missed. So put this place on your radar.
You just may see us there later today.
And/or the next.
The Dining Rundown: Banhmigos
Where: 178 Lincoln Place (near 7th Avenue)
Hours: Mondays-Wednesdays, 12pm-9:30pm; Thursdays-Saturdays, 12pm-10pm; Sundays, 12pm-9pm
Kid Friendly? It’s a very small space, so you may want to order in.