February 2005 Dirt Cheap Eats
Few sandwiches pack a flavor wallop like the banh mi. One bite of this Vietnamese sub may be fiery, another sweet or smoky or refreshing. The sandwich is traditionally made on a crusty baguette and filled with vinegary shreds of carrot and daikon radish, slivers of jalapeño pepper, cilantro, and grilled meats or cold cuts.
The best banh mi we found was the crispy grilled pork sandwich ($2.50) at Song Que. The deli is run by the owners of Four Sisters, a restaurant next door in the Eden Center, the strip-mall hub of the Northern Virginia Vietnamese community. Song Que's liver-y ham and pâté ($2) is another good choice.
A close runner-up is the grilled-pork sandwich ($2.50), served on bread straight from the oven, at the new DC Banh Mi (3103-C Graham Rd., Falls Church; 703-205-9300), just down the road from the Eden Center.