When Annie Tran opened Q.T. Vietnamese Sandwich a year ago, she wanted to offer a banh mi that was closer to the authentic sandwiches than anything she could find in South Philadelphia. And to ensure that the food was true to the traditional, she brought in her mother, whose recipes come directly from cooking at her temple in Vietnam.
Having tried all of the local bread producers, Annie settled on a bakery in New Jersey whose rolls are crispy, soft, and “not too bready.” Lightly toasted before serving, it is a perfect canvas for the mayo, cucumber, pickled carrot, jalapeno and cilantro that accompany the selection of proteins.
The house special, a combination of Vietnamese ham (cha lua), slow cooked BBQ pork (nem nuong), and pork ears (thit nguoi), is served with a spread of pork liver pate. Other meat options include pork, chicken or beef that is marinated in lemongrass and fish sauce before being grilled. Vegetarians have a couple options of fried tofu sandwiches – which are kept entirely separate from meat sandwiches – prepared either with a lemongrass marinade or sautéed with onions and mushrooms. And for those who still cannot decide, ask for a half-and-half with two fillings.
Q.T. Vietnamese Sandwich
48 N. 10th St., Philadelphia PA 19107 (Google Map)