Formerly known as Shed No. 2, The Market at Dallas Farmers Market looks like an enormous food court ripped out of a shopping mall, and vendors are packed in there like sardines. There's still a great farmers market outside, but much has changed now that Dallas Farmers Market is privately owned.
Nammi, which used to just be a banh mi bar in a couple of Vietnamese fusion trucks, set up shop Friday at The Market. Most know this place as a truck that's been parked at Klyde Warren Park pretty much every week since the park above the Woodall Rodgers Freeway opened, but now it's also a bright spot among scores of food stands and stores.
On weekends, a trip to Dallas Farmers Market is not easy. Good luck finding a parking space and be prepared to hike. The Market is crowded — the wait in line for a cup of coffee is long. Merely maneuvering through the market is no small feat.
But Nammi is about as easy as it gets. For starters, it sits right in front of the South Harwood entrance. Getting a bite at Nammi is relatively quick for anyone who's at the Farmers Market to actually buy some food from farmers.
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This is more or less the Chipotle approach to banh mi. Choose a meat: ginger tofu, honey-grilled pork, Asian BBQ pork or lemongrass chicken. Get it in a banh mi, taco, rice bowl or noodle bowl. Like Chipotle, Nammi works because they use high-quality, fresh ingredients.
The 12-inch baguette is flawlessly crispy, and praise be to the garlic mayonnaise. The cucumbers, pickled daikon, carrots, jalapeños and cilantro are noticeably fresh. I went with the lemongrass chicken, which was beautifully understated in texture and flavor. It makes good sense on a sandwich that gets kicks from so many different flavors.
The sweet Thai tea they sell in tall cans goes down easy. It also cools the fire from the jalapeños. Thai tea is a cold, milky black tea and Nammi picked a great one.
For anyone who must go inside The Market when the crowd hits critical mass, Nammi is a quick, viable option — at least for now. Don’t be surprised if they start drawing long lines. This is a legit banh mi, an example of how well a restaurant can do something if it's the only thing they do.