100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes: Vietnamese Pork Panini at Lumi Empanada & Dumpling Kitchen

As a countdown to the Dallas Observer's "Best of Dallas" 2010, City of Ate is serving up 100 of the favorite dishes we crave, savor and hope to scarf down again soon. These dishes are in no particular order. Some are little known, others celebrated. Some are pricey, others can be eaten on the cheap, but all are delicious to the extreme. Don't hesitate to share your own nominations in the comments. More of the dish's tasty details are after the jump.

No. 86 Vietnamese Pork Panini at Lumi Empanada & Dumpling Kitchen

The day we met Lumi's gastro-phenomenal Vietnamese Pork Panini, our world rocked.

There is some Asian fusion we're just not wild about. After all, why fancy up a perfectly good dish, and in the process, compromise the very authenticity that made it special? Lumi's panini, however, maintains the integrity of a traditional Vietnamese banh mi thit, all while improving upon it with small, but rewarding, adjustments. Juicy pieces of grilled pork are joined by the familiar accoutrements of pickled carrots, daikon, jalapenos, cilantro, cucumber, and homemade mayonnaise. As if thick slices of marinated grilled pork weren't enough, Lumi adds nem nuong, or Vietnamese sausage, to the already flavor-packed sandwich. The result is a banh mi thit on steroids.
The "a-ha" factor (as Oprah would put it), ultimately is the bread. Throughout the years, Vietnamese sandwich baguettes have grown larger and thicker while the fillings have become sparser. Lumi sidesteps this nuisance by panini pressing their French bread sandwich. The result is both beautiful and ingenious.

Sadly, the Vietnamese Pork Panini is only served during lunch.

Lumi Empanada & Dumpling Kitchen
3407 McKinney Avenue
Dallas, TX 75204

Check out our previous favorite dishes by clicking on these links:

No. 100: Oatmeal Pancakes at Legal Grounds

No. 99: Shanghai Buns at Jeng Chi Dumpling House

No. 98: Mashed Tater Parfait at Cowboy Chow

No. 97: Chicken and Waffles at Victor Tango's

No. 96: Colorado Lamb Osso Bucco at Hibiscus

No. 95: Flatbread Pizza at Dish

No. 94: First Chinese Barbecue in Richardson

No. 93: Elotes at Fuel City

No. 92: Summer Platter For Two at Big Shucks

No. 91: Chicken Gizzards at Sushi Yama

No. 90: Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt's Rancho Martinez

No. 89: The Angry Dog at Angry Dog

No. 88: Sliders at Dish

No. 87. Spaghetti Bolognese at Urbano Café