There should be more places to get more types banh mi in this town, but Lao Trading, on a good day, will do.
Can't plan for banh mi -- you have to vow as you head for Lao Trading on Eighth Avenue near Chestnut, "If it looks good I'll get it. If it doesn't, I'll go to Gabby's or Fat Mo's."
On Saturday, the banh mi were in top form, and the cashier (son of the chatty proprietress) said the bread was freshly baked. Crackly outside and soft inside, the roll was stuffed with three kinds of meat and piled with lots of different shredded vegetables. It was the banh mi you hope for.
As the New York Times reported some months ago, banh mi is finding its American voice and appearing in more places and permutations. Here's hoping more of both will make their way here.