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Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Munchies: BONMi

Our search for good banh mi variations obviously brought us to new Foggy Bottom lunch place: BONMi, which takes its name from the Anglicized pronunciation of the now ubiquitous Vietnamese sandwich. And in some ways, the banh mi itself is pretty Anglicized.

The menu consists of sandwiches, lettuce wraps, salads, and summer rolls, but the focus is the eponymous banh mi. There are eight or so choices, almost none of which exist in actuality for Vietnamese people. Five spice chicken? Chile garlic tofu? Butternut squash? Where are the Eden Center shops that do anything like this? The variations wouldn't be such a bother if there was a decided lack of the meats that are the most common (pork belly, cha lua, pate). As is my pet peeve, just putting it in a crusty baguette and putting some jalapenos and pickled vegetables and cilantro on it does not make it banh mi; it's the equivalent of putting whipped cream and sprinkles on some pudding, and calling it an ice cream sundae.

As for the sandwich itself, it was pretty bland. I ordered the regular chicken, thinking that if I couldn't have anything I was used to, I'd try something out there. What I got tasted like steamed chicken, like something that came out of a frozen dinner. At its very best, I can't imagine it being any better than the Potbelly's next door, which is perfectly fine for the lunch-hour crowd that frequents that area. Still, I just hope nobody walks in there thinking it's more authentic than it actually is. Which is to say, that it could be way better.

Taste Test: 2 Forks (out of 5)
Perfect for
: Faking it.

BONMi on Urbanspoon

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