Hoi An: Madam Khanh

Growing up in Los Angeles, I’ve had my share of Vietnamese food, especially banh mi. I went through a banh mi phase, eating at least 2 a day, everyday, for 3 months. So when we heard about a famous lady, a self proclaimed “The Banh Mi Queen”, making the best banh mi in Hoi An, we had to see whether she lived up to the title, or was she just another tourist trap.

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As soon as we spotted her stand, we instinctually knew she was the real thing. The bread, a critical vehicle for holding all that filling, is made with rice flour, giving it a light loose texture. It’s gently warmed over a charcoal grill, rendering the crust crunchy, without incising the roof of your mouth.

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Unlike the American counterpart, there is no choice of meat. You only get one kind, which is everything but the kitchen sink. The banh mi is loaded with BBQ pork, fried egg, pate, mayonnaise, butter (or margarine?), and fresh veggies. It’s seriously good!

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The coffee was nothing to brag about. But hey, this is not a cafe, it’s a banh mi stand. And this is one sandwich that we both still crave till this day.

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