A Banh Mi Taste Test

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

On a quest for the best "special combination" banh mi thit nguoi, a Vietnamese cold-cut sandwich on French bread, I visited eight shops in the Eden Center and two shops elsewhere in Falls Church, the home of nearly all stores in the region that sell this sandwich. When the day was done, there were far more disappointments than triumphs.

Bite for bite, my favorites were from Nhu Lan and Song Que, both in the Eden Center. Note: Ba Le, a national chain, also has a location in Rockville (842 Rockville Pike; 301-294-7808). For more information about the Eden Center:http://www.edencenter.com.


Nhu Lan

Eden Center, 6763 Wilson Blvd., #14; 703-532-9009.

Open daily, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Five kinds of banh mi, $3 each.

¿ The precision banh mi thit nguoi: A lovely, warm, seven-inch baguette is layered with flavorful p¿t¿, soft head cheese seasoned with star anise, house-baked Viet-style ham and fresh pickled vegetables.

Song Que

Eden Center, 6773 Wilson Blvd.; 703-536-7900.

Open daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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