Everyone knows the most authentic banh mi sandwiches are served in the suburbs, where they come wrapped in paper and cost two dollars and some change. You could buy the whole office lunch at prices like that, depending on the size of your office and how generous you're feeling, and banh mi sandwiches beat doughnuts 9 times out of 10.
The banh mi pictured above, however, is not priced with generosity in mind. This is a sandwich of decadence, and it will set you back $16, which is the most I've ever paid for a banh mi. But while the price tag may cause some hesitation, the sandwich is worth a try, especially if you think the best part of any banh mi sandwich is the pâté.
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With most banh mi sandwiches, pâte is an extra. It's something you slather onto the toasted french baguette before you top it with grilled meats and an aggressive amount of pickled radishes. At CBD Provisions, a restaurant that often practices meaty excess, the pâté is the sandwich. There's a runny egg fried until the white gets crunchy, and mayo, peppers, cilantro and other toppings and condiments, but as far as meats go, the pâte is it.
When you bite into that crusty, well toasted baguette (bread served at the hotel is baked on-site) pâté squishes out the sides and out the back. It's coarsely textured, refined just enough to facilitate spreading and full of flavor that's fresh and earthy. The egg only adds more body. If I were to ask for this sandwich again, I would politely request more pickles, but that's a minor gripe.
Price point aside, this is one delicious sandwich. My bartender told me they sell only four or five a day because the banh mi is overshadowed by one of the best burgers in the city. That may be true, but that's still no excuse for not tearing into this monster at least once while you're still kicking.