After spending two months in Thailand, I got used to the food, picked up a little of the language, and even learned to recognize some words written in Thai. Coming to Hanoi has been more challenging than I expected, and I think I’ve experienced a little culture shock. The language is very different, and alhtough they use a modified version of our alphabet, the letters are pronounced differently.
Fortunately, thanks to some visits to Vietnamese restaurants in Portland and San Jose, I know a few food words. Banh my (which I usually saw written as banh mi in the states), is a sandwich with various meats on a baguette. Here, the version I see most often comes with pate and two other processed meats I can’t really identify. One looks like sausage, and the other, you can see in the photo, is pale beige with bright orange on the edges.
I was a little hesitant about the pate, but with the other meat, butter, and chile sauce, it tastes great.
It’s served with a big plate of lettuce, tomato, and marinated cucumbers (which are crunchy and sweet), plus a little dish of salt for sprinkling over the filling.
All the elements together make for an unexpectedly good sandwich!
(And if you’re vegetarian, it’s easy to get a similar version with Laughing Cow cheese in place of all the meat)