Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vegetarian in Vietnam

Ok, I haven’t actually been to Vietnam, but Hanco’s, in Cobble Hill and Park Slope, has Vietnamese sandwiches in three vegetarian varieties.

The traditional Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi, combines ground pork, ham, and pâté on a toasted baguette with cilantro, carrots, and daikon radish. At Hanco, the vegetarian variety has tofu, and with all the other flavors, plus the sweet/spicy Srichacha chili sauce, you really won’t miss the meat.

A vegetarian chicken and vegetarian pork variety use the same fake meat used in vegetarian Chinese dishes, and the different textures make these great choices for the vegetarian diner.

Best of all, Hanco’s now has whole wheat baguettes, giving the sandwiches a bit more heft and some fiber. All the sandwiches have mayo and butter on them, too.

The $6.50 sandwiches are perfect for lunch; if you want to have dinner here, you can add summer rolls (shrimp, lettuce, fresh mint, and vermicelli wrapped in rice paper, with a peanut hoisin sauce or garden rolls, swapping the shrimp for cucumber.

Salads have lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, carrot and mint topped with roasted peanuts, fried red onion, and scallion oil

Hanco’s also has a sardine sandwich I have yet to try, with tomato sauce along with the usual Vietnamese condiments.

Drinks include a large variety of bubble teas, with or without milk, (or soy milk, for vegans) all with large balls of tapioca. It is definitely an acquired taste.

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