Every bistro, sandwich shop, and food truck seems to be messing around with a bánh mì—also known as a Vietnamese hero, one of the world’s great sandwiches. The results are often less loving homage than desecration of a simple, beautiful thing. Pop by this carryout to see what all those poor bastardizers of bánh mì don’t seem to grasp. You don’t need “quality ingredients” for a great sandwich—what you need is an understanding of balance and proportion. The quick-fingered women behind the counter here get it right every time. Witness the sandwich given the distinction of being called #1, the bánh mì cold cut: The bread is light as cotton, the proportion of daikon/carrot/cilantro to meat is perfect, and there’s enough crunch, tang, and richness to keep you interested right up to the last bite.
Where you can get it: 3103 Graham Rd., Falls Church; 703-205-9300
Also good: Grilled-pork bánh mì; chicken bánh mì.