the Banh mi sandwich is an old friend I can call on when I need something familiar.
During a week lounging at home with a newborn child, the banh mi called like a siren. Remembering that Les Ba'get—the Montrose-based Vietnamese spot that changed to Les Noo'dle—recently opened a new Les Ba'get at 1717 W 34th St. in the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest area, it was time for that crunchy, savory sandwich to come back into my life.
The new Les Ba'get is modern and cool—high ceilings and all kinds of seating, and a far cry from the more rustic surroundings of Les Noo'dle—and was packed for lunch with businesspeople, remote workers, friends playing catch-up, and small families. (It's not open for dinner yet). Everyone seemed to be snacking on their own familiar dish—loaded vermicelli bowls, pho, and so many banh mi sandwiches—and enjoying the casual vibe.
I ordered the lemongrass pork, traditional and simple, and a few things stuck out:
- It's big, heartier than expected. It seems to be good for two people, though as a solo diner I can chomp through it without hesitation.
- The veggie construction (carrots, daikon radish, cucumber, jalapeno sliced thin and off to the side, against the baguette) is nice, especially because you're guaranteed to get a bite of everything.
- There's a conservative sprinkling of cilantro, not a veritable shrub, which I enjoyed.
- I tasted more of the duck pate than I would've wanted, and definitely not enough aioli. In fact, I longed for the sweet tang of a rich mayo; instead, I got plenty more of the fatty spread.
Overall the shredded pork was juicy and filling, the bread was sharp and crunchy as all get out, and I devoured the darn thing. It's a good sandwich. It's not my absolute favorite banh mi sandwich in Houston, but if I'm searching for that quick hit of comfort, I know where to turn.