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Bang Bang Banh Mi

Posted by DID 26 Jan 2014 7 Comments

I love a banh mi and have long lamented Durham’s lack of the flavor-packed, usually affordable sandwich. Motorco’s Parts & Labor has a gentrified, pate-topped version on their menu that’s good and Banh’s offers one but only on Saturdays, but I long for a readily available classic version served alongside a bubble tea. When rumors of Bang Bang Banh Mi food truck started circulating I had high hopes. Bang Bang Banh Mi is specializing in Vietnamese street food but done all gluten-free with lots of vegan and vegetarian options.

On the road just over a week, we sought out Bang Bang Banh Mi in the parking lot of Sam’s Quik Shop. The menu looked incredibly promising – wings, bowls and the coveted banh mi all with a wide variety of choices of meats and veggie options. We went with a beef bowl and chicken banh mi.

The bowl was just a heap of noodles, a pile of cilantro, shredded carrots and a side of reheated beef. The dish was helped immensely by a giant squirt of the beloved red chili sauce, but really could have used a vinegar something to tie it all together. We chose poorly when opting for chicken on the banh mi. The gluten-free bread was cold and could have used just a quick warm-up and the chicken lacked a punch of flavor.

All in all, I think this is probably an exciting development for the growing percent of the population that avoids gluten, but at $20 for a sandwich and noodle bowl – Bang Bang Banh Mi isn’t the cheap, classic banh mi I’m craving.

Keep up with them on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Ralph Haygood said:

    Bother. I’ll still try them whenever I see them, because I too love a good banh mi. I hope they get better.


  • ERD82 said:

    I haven’t had the banh mi at Motorco, but using pate in one is absolutely not gentrified (though putting the pate on top of the sandwich instead of at the base would be a strange choice). The classic “Special Combo” banh mi is pate, roasted pork or pork belly and pork cold cuts.

    In fact most of the options here are far more divergent from traditional bahn mi than Motorco’s seems to be (though again I’ve never tried it there). Also the price is crazy — $8.50 is the price for the sandwiches at Jujube which are made of really high quality ingredients (I guarantee higher than this truck) and you’re in a sit down restaurant.

    Finally it seems really strange to have a list of proteins and then offer them in either bun or bahn mi format — the dishes are completely different and that just seems like a cop-out.


  • gryphon said:

    Am I looking at their menu(on their Twitter feed) right? Is that $8.50 for one bahn mi? Holy…


  • Tom from Raleigh said:

    Jujube has a great bahn mi. Well worth the drive from Derm


  • silvio said:

    Not impressed at all thus far. The bread was quite bad and the ingredients sparse and lacking in anything approaching flavor, and the cost was quite high. Next time I’ll go to Banh’s on Saturday instead.


  • HNguyen said:

    The price is $9.50 now. For that price it better be a heck of a good banh mi.


  • Tooth said:

    I’ve had one of their banh mi sammiches. The sandwich tastes okay, but is certainly not worth $9.50. For the same price, I can purchase three banh mi sandwiches at any Vietnamese restaurant that are much more delicious.


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