House Special Sandwich (banh mi) at Hue Thai
Banh mi is a special sandwich. It represents an organic combination of two wildly different cultures and cuisines, French and Vietnamese. I love banh mi because the elements that come together to make this sandwich are so different.
Hue Thai, a second-story restaurant in one of Las Vegas Chinatown's many restaurant-laden strip malls, serves a diverse menu of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Lao food. The cuisine here is a muddled mix of different traditions rather than stick-to-your-roots authenticity. There are several different meaty ingredients to choose from to anchor your banh mi, mostly cold cuts and grilled meat and not so much of the classical terrine you would find on a truly authentic banh mi sandwich. But on the House Special sandwich, there is a slab of something called Chinese Meatloaf. While I'm sure it's composed mostly of pork, and its texture leads me to believe it was steam-cooked, there's really no way of knowing what I ate on this baby. But it was good. There also is grilled pork, salty and sweet, and a sliced ham-like cold cut on the House Special.
For veggies, it's got cilantro leaves (and some stems, too, for fun!), jalapeno, lightly pickled carrot, cucumber and daikon. The bread is an ultra-crispy French baguette, nice enough to make that crackling sound (you know what I'm talking about) when you bite in. The thing about banh mi at Hue Thai is the price. They're cheap. It's about 4 bucks for a smallish sandwich. One sandwich leaves me wanting more. Two whole sandwiches makes me full for the day. It's a great deal either way.