There are few better places to be a hungry sandwich lover right now than Washington, D.C. The trickle-down from the city’s burgeoning fine dining scene has brought with it a demand for better, fresher ingredients and more daring combinations of texture and flavor. Thanks to the district’s international diversity, a stunning range of ethnic variations are within easy reach. Although the relics of our less evolved age persist — downtown, for example, remains peppered with characterless chain shops — sandwich lovers in our nation’s capital are increasingly spoiled for choice. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Pho 14
“It’s my favorite one, and I’m not even a vegetarian,” the server at Pho 14 told me when I ordered the bánh mì chay for the first time. “It’s the tofu. It’s so good.” Considering my order also included a massive bowl of pho with roughly six different cuts of beef, it must have been obvious I wasn’t a vegetarian, either.
One of the many, many things I’ve always loved about the Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich is its versatility. There are some conventions that should be obeyed: Pickled vegetables, fresh cilantro, hot peppers, maybe some sliced cucumber and a smear of mayo or butter are the foundation. The split, baguette-like bread for which the sandwich is named is non-negotiable. But beyond these basic guidelines, the artist is limited only by his or her imagination. Traditionally the sandwich has featured everything from marinated and grilled meat, head cheese or meatballs to shrimp paste and pork skin. Eggs and pâté are popular ancillary components. Continue reading
Holiday observations, particularly those of religious origin, are often periods of abstinence, humility and general restraint. The annual celebration of overindulgence beginning at Thanksgiving and reaching a glorious crescendo in the final weeks of December is not one of these times. Back in November, I wrote a short piece about some of my favorite Thanksgiving sandwiches available in Washington, D.C.; thankfully, the month that followed was no less gluttonous. What follows is an almost daily account of my holiday wanderings, told through the bevy of beautiful sandwiches that defined it. ‘Twas a Happy Christmas, indeed. Continue reading