The patio seating at East Side Social Club is your dining room when you order a bánh mi from the Pickled Carrot.
The patio seating at East Side Social Club is your dining room when you order a bánh mi from the Pickled Carrot.
Courtney Jacobs

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 29: The Pork Bánh Mì at Pickled Carrot

Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2017 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

Denton's food truck scene is still pretty new to the game. It's grown steadily since 2012 when the city threw out a law that made it all but impossible to operate a food truck. One of the first to jump on the bandwagon of mobile food venues was University of North Texas alumus Cuong “Kong” Mai. Now in its fifth year, his truck, the Pickled Carrot, is still one of Denton's most popular food trucks and has become a food scene staple. Lines of hungry bar-goers queue up in the grueling sun for their bánh mì fix.

The bánh mì at Pickled Carrot is the ideal self-contained bar food. Cooked fresh, it's a combination of seared, marinated pork served on a lightly crunchy, fresh-baked baguette with house-made pickled carrots and daikon radish, cucumbers, jalapeños, sriracha and a roasted garlic mayo made on the truck. Rumor has it that the combination of rice and wheat flours is what gives a Vietnamese baguette its lighter rise, lending a delicate crackle and making the entire thing easier to scarf down in one sitting.

Perhaps the greatest thing about this $8 sandwich is its consistency; we've enjoyed countless bánh mì in the past five years, and every single one has hit its mark. And that's not just the beer talking.

You can find the Pickled Carrot serving up bánh mì, noodle bowls and salads for lunch and dinner at the Austin Street Truck Stop next to Eastside Social Club and at the Denton Farmer's market Saturday mornings during market season.

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