For those who are not familiar, a banh mi is basically a Vietnamese-style hoagie consisting of a baguette, Vietnamese style meats and ingredients such as cilantro, pickled carrots and peppers. Like any good sandwich, the bread is the key to a good banh mi.
We ordered the House Special banh mi and the pork banh mi, both just under $5 for about a 10 inch sandwich. It's a a decent deal, but many say the prices at Q.T. are on the expensive side for banh mi. The house special includes vietnamese ham, BBQ pork, apparently pork ears and a spread of pork liver pate. Each sandwich at Q.T. comes with pickled carrots, cilantro, cucumbers and jalepeno peppers (optional). The pork banh mi had a variation of mayo.
Neither of us particularly enjoyed the first bite of the house special. It was hard to pinpoint the reason, but we chalked it up to either the different style of meats or the sauce. But, the house special certainly grew on us and was the favorite of the two sandwiches. The pork banh mi was average at best and I thought they could have added more jalepenos to give it some more kick.
|Carefully chopping jalapenos|
The best part of both sandwiches was the baguette - light, airy on the inside and crispy on the outside. I would stop by Q.T. just for the baguettes. Anyone know where they order it from or if it's made in-house?
In the end the hype of the venerable banh mi didn't match the result. It was a good sandwich, but we're not sure what all the fuss is about. We've had other sandwiches that we like much better. Overall it is not a place we would go out of our way to frequent or suggest to a friend as something they must try.
We debated why our impressions were different from what others have said, and concluded that our preference is for heartier sandwiches such as Paesano's. If you are looking for a lighter lunch, though, the banh mi would be a good choice since it does not sit heavy. Plus it's not every day you get to eat banh mi and we think everyone should enjoy the fun of trying something new and different. We would like to try another Vietnamese place to see if there is a difference, so pass along any suggestions.
Q.T. is a small place with bright orange coloring with enough seating for 8-10 people. From what we can tell many order to-go and there was a constant flow of people, but never a long line. The service was quick and the owner was pleasant. There is also a pretty big selection of drinks and chips to eat on the side. To find it, look for the name on the door - there is no sign hanging out into the street.
|A look at kitchen/prep area|
|Cool t-shirt to buy.|