Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Banh Mi Sandwich, Takadanobaba (バインミー☆サンドイッチ)

Aha, you'd think from the name that this was a lunch truck making Vietnamese sandwiches, but it is in fact an actual store, jammed (sandwiched?) into a space small enough to fit into a truck. And cleverly named for its product. No tom-foolery here, no-siree.

The most encouraging thing about it is the bread ovens. I suspect you just can't get the right bread for these sandwiches in Japan (and honestly, you can't get the right bread for most sandwiches in Japan, am I right? Am I right? Speaking of that, let me mention that if you want real dark, dense, seedy German bread, that famous place in Kichijoji has set up a temporary store in Tokyo Station's Daimaru. They're there until the end of Golden Week. It's really good.), so they're making it themselves. They'll sell it to you for takeout too, and they'll do special orders. The girl in the picture here was ordering up a whole gaggle of loaves to pick up tomorrow.

Mmmmmm, sandwich. It's been a looong time since I had a good sandwich, and this was a good sandwich. Reminds you how crappy Subway is compared to a real hoagie. Not that this is a hoagie by any stretch, but it's Vietnamese ham and liver paste with pickled vegetables and some salad. I sprung the extra cash for super-sized coriander and hot sauce, bringing the sandwich total to Y580 and making it taste great. Toasting the bread doesn't hurt either. I had to rudely shove some coriander aside so's you could see the meat and pickles.

And carrot cake! Another rarity in Japan. One of the women was laughing that a foreigner knew what carrot cake was. I said it's very normal in America, and the other woman, who seemed more in charge, said "It's an American recipe." I like my carrot cake dense, dark and sweet, with a lot of icing, and this is none of those things, but it was more a case of a different style, done well, rather than anything genuinely boring.

Judging by the katakana, it's evidently pronunced 'bine-mee'. Didn't know that.

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