QT Vietnamese Sandwich's Lemongrass Beef Bánh Mì

This Sandwich of the Week features a Vietnamese hoagie that holds its own in the City of Brotherly Love

In Philadelphia it can often seem as though there are just two meals in a day — a behemoth sandwich and whatever you foolishly ate before it. Big in size and big on flavor, this city is known for offering some of the best sandwiches in the country, and these belly-busters are the perfect occasional indulgence. But for the seasoned sandwich aficionado, we know that even the most expertly prepared cheesesteak won't cut it every time. And so I introduce you to my favorite sandwich in Philly: the bánh mì bò xả (lemongrass beef Vietnamese hoagie) at Q.T. Vietnamese Sandwich (it's #6 on the menu, if you’re wondering).

Their bánh mì are an amalgam of cultures, just like the city of Philadelphia itself. There is the slightly toasted French baguette, smeared with pâté and mayonnaise, the readily available and always fresh jalapeños from Mexico, and the traditional Vietnamese veggies — sliced cucumbers, cilantro, shaved carrots, and julienned daikon (the carrots and daikon are flash-pickled as well). The final ingredient is a protein, which vary in options from tofu to barbequed pork, to our focus, the lemongrass beef.

Chopped and placed alongside the veggies, Q.T.’s beef is crispy, savory, slightly sweet, and aromatic, not unlike the very best cheesesteaks the city has to offer. The result is a well-balanced and exceptionally flavorful sandwich in which each texture and taste has a counterpoint, stimulating but not overpowering the palate. It’s one of the best sandwiches in Philly and for a humble $4.95, you might just want to grab one for later.

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