Cheap Eats: Interasian Market and Deli — Original Banh Mi — $4.12

Interasian Market and Deli — Original Banh Mi — $4.12

If you judge a sandwich by the way it balances flavors and textures, the Franco-Vietnamese banh mi is bound to excel. Nashville has several great banh mi sandwiches to choose from, but none is more artfully constructed than the one at Interasian Market and Deli, formerly an off-menu special that got thrust into the spotlight in 2013 when Catbird Seat co-founding chef Erik Anderson sang its praises in Food and Wine. You’ve got bright cilantro and cool cucumber; thin slices of jalapeño for a bit of bite; savory red pork and pork roll; and piquant liver pâté and Vietnamese mayonnaise offset by the sour-sweet pickled carrot and papaya. All of that is wrapped up in a crispy, flaky baguette. It’s a rainbow of flavor you can fit in your hand, and it’s one of the best deals I’ve seen anywhere. There are several variations to choose from, including a delicious-looking vegetarian option and one with crisp strips of roast pork belly that’s available only on weekends — but the original sets a high bar. Cards aren’t accepted at Interasian, so be sure to bring cash. 

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