February 2011


My sister sent me a link to The Moment’s very tragic post about banh mi that has offended many of those who hold the sandwich in high regard. The hed reads “Banh Mi in America” but fails to mention Orange County’s Little Saigon.

As much as I like banh mi, I’m not going to respond with seething outrage that the writer describes the Lee’s Sandwich chains as an “exemplary” example of California banh mi. It’s just another clue that this guy did a very shoddy research job.

But when you ask a question as broad and ridiculous as, “Who makes the best Vietnamese banh mi sandwich in America?” and answer it without acknowledging a single sandwich shop within the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam, the public flogging is sort of deserved.

Inspired by this blog and by conversations with my friend Linda (above, in one of her many odd poses), we’re going to record our eating budgets and share them on her blog. We’re not quite sure where this project is going but we like healthy, tasty, organic, environmentally-friendly and humane food despite being cheap individuals. We also hate waste and over-consumption, despite our occasional lust for stuff. But we’re trying to be more responsible world citizens.

I was in such a rush during my last few weeks in LA that I’m way behind in posts. So instead, leftovers:

Broken rice, or cơm tấm: imperfect bits that perfectly absorb all the flavors of fragrant, charbroiled meats.

(more…)

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