Yummy Deli in Everett serves up bánh mì, a Vietnamese sandwich that makes for a quick and satisfying lunch (or an anytime meal). (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)

Yummy Deli in Everett serves up bánh mì, a Vietnamese sandwich that makes for a quick and satisfying lunch (or an anytime meal). (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)

Find this delicious Vietnamese sandwich throughout Snohomish County

Bánh mì is as filling and delicious as it is quick and affordable.

EVERETT – This is a reminder to feed yourself good things this week.

You might be busy, gulping down instant oatmeal and 16 to 32 ounces of coffee before another hectic day at work, or you could be home, bored with your weekly meal rotation and looking for something exciting to eat.

Whatever your week looks like, I implore you to make room for bánh mì, a Vietnamese sandwich that is as filling as it is cheap and one of my favorite to-go meals since moving to Washington. Fresh and pickled veggies are nestled atop grilled meat (or tofu) then packed inside a fluffy baguette-like roll.

The fillings are an ode to both Vietnamese cooking and French influence: grilled or barbecued pork, pâté, chicken, egg, beef, ham, shrimp, marinated tofu, deli meats. They all work well with a colorful and characteristic burst of daikon, cucumber, carrot and cilantro on top. It’s like biting into spring. Sliced jalapeño brings more crunch as well as heat.

Bánh mì makes for an affordable breakfast or lunch (or snack, or quick dinner), costing around $6 to $8 each at Vietnamese restaurants throughout Snohomish County.

The decades-old sandwich is a triumph over French colonization, a grab-and-go meal that came about following the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, ending the First Indochina War. During their occupation, the French brought bread, beer, coffee, carrots and other goods. The Vietnamese made those ingredients their own, from their thick and robust, highly caffeinated coffee that’s often sweetened with condensed milk, to bánh mì topped with shredded carrots.

As Matthew Pike wrote in a 2018 Culture Trip story, “After the French left, Vietnamese in the south were free to modify French dishes to include local ingredients. Mayonnaise replaced butter, and veggies replaced the more expensive cold cuts. The bánh mì morphed into a dish everyone could afford.”

You can find bánh mì throughout Snohomish County, from Yeh Yeh’s south in Lynnwood to District 1 Banh Mi Restaurant north in Marysville. Head east for bánh mì at Phở Mimôsa in Snohomish or Saigon Pho and Grill in Monroe. In Everett, check out Yummy Deli (not to be confused with Yummy Banh Mi, in downtown Everett) located near Fred Meyer off Evergreen Way.

I just peeked at Yeh Yeh’s menu to find salmon, brisket and even pastrami on their bánh mì menu. I know where I’m heading to next.

Yummy Deli is my current go-to. Last week I ordered their chicken bánh mì and my favorite: marinated tofu.

Both contained a spectrum of textures and flavors: crunchy, crusty, fluffy, filling, savory, spicy, sweet and cool as a cucumber. There’s nothing like biting into a sandwich that has everything you need, if only for a moment.

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