Thursday, July 24th

Dang Banh Mi

Dang Banh Mi

The much-anticipated Dang Bánh Mì opened this week. The passion project from the Pluckers owners was born out of a love of Vietnam and its cuisine. I attended a media preview and was pleasantly surprised by the authenticity and attention to detail in the food.

Lemongrass pork and shrimp spring rolls were light and fresh, but the real star was the peanut dipping sauce. My dining companions and I looked for anything and everything to dip in that sauce.

Lemongrass Pork & Shrimp Spring Rol

At first glance we were surprised to find one lone Thai dish on the menu, but the Som Tam was so well done that we agreed that its inclusion was warranted. A 6 oz portion is $2.50, a bargain.

Som Tam at Dang Banh Mi, Austin Texas

I tried three bánh mì. The Dang Original was my favorite, made with 15 ingredients including pork belly, pork tenderloin, ground pork, and homemade pâté. The Char Siu Chicken was just as hearty and flavorful. The Oxtail, which is a limited offering, was a labor of love having been braised for 12 hours in pho stock. All were delicious and on the heavier side for bánh mì, and as with most bánh mì found in Austin, the bread’s not quite as light/crusty as you might find in other cities. Each sandwich is topped with a fried egg, which I found to be a nice touch.

Banh Mi at Dang Banh Mi, Austin Texas

The pho broth was incredibly flavorful and beefy, delighting my good friend Peter, whose opinion holds a lot of weight. I really liked the inclusion of mint in the toppings, which brought a burst of cool flavor that contrasted nicely with the brisket, sirloin, and eye of round. Meat-lovers will really love this pho.

Pho at Dang Banh Mi

Already full, we pushed on to sample the grilled lemongrass pork bún, which was chock full of vegetables, making it lighter than many other bún I’ve had. It’s worth noting that the fish sauce was aromatic, citrusy, and just very special. Maybe my favorite fish sauce ever! I also loved the generous portion of fried shallots on the dish.

Grilled Lemongrass Pork at Dang Banh Mi

Although it was later than my cutoff for consuming caffeine, I couldn’t help but indulge in the Vietnamese iced coffee. Sometimes they can be too sweet for me, but this particular cup had just the right amount of sweetened condensed milk. Perfection!

The prices are a little higher than typical Vietnamese restaurants. The pho is $9.50 and bún are $10. Most of the bánh mì are around $8.50, with the most expensive being the oxtail, which is $12.50. But the popularity of Elizabeth Street Café suggests that people are willing to shell out more for Vietnamese, so we’ll see how it goes.

Will you be checking out Dang Bánh Mì? Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite Vietnamese joints.

Dang Bánh Mì

9070 Research Blvd, Ste 303, Austin, TX 78757

Mon-Sun 11-9

10 Responses

  1. Winston says:

    There are way too many traditional Vietnamese and Thai options in this town that serve great versions of all of these dishes at better prices. I wanted to like this place but I guess I have been spoiled by the good Houston and Austin Vietnamese places that come before them.

    • Winston says:

      I’d suggest – Best Pho – Pho Dan, Best Bun – Duy, Best Goi Cuon – Pho Saigon, Best Papaya Salad – Thai House, Best Banh Mi – Lily’s Sandwich

  2. Jason Abels says:

    I’m reserving judgement until I try it, but these prices are going to be a tough sell in this neighborhood, where there are nearly half a dozen other pho and banh mi options within a mile or two selling their sandwiches, soups and bowls for half the price.

  3. lazysmurf says:

    I wrote to them to ask if they have vegan sauces, it look so good! I wish they would write back!

  4. Damien says:

    I’m going to give it another try in about six months but I found more misses than hits. The bread, in my opinion, was the best part. The meat was too salty in the Banh Mi, our spring rolls exploded on us due to poor wrapping, and or sitting around for too long, the coffee was weak, and their fish sauce was terrible. Completely off balance. The peanut sauce tasted like peanut butter. They’re new and I appreciate their attempt at vietnamese food as it is one of my favorites, but I wouldn’t recommend it..

  5. steve says:

    I would pay 9.50 for the pho one time to check it out, but it better be something amazing to warrant 10 bux a bowl..

  6. Maxine says:

    Looks great! Tried to try it last night. >:[ Unfortunately, the parking lot was entirely full, so I ended up at PhoNatic.

  7. Senor Betty says:

    Their housemade Dang sauce is delicious. Nice and spicy!

  8. Corrin says:

    You know I’m a Phonatic junkie, but I’m willing to branch out.

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