Sardine sandwich, technically called a Bánh mì, is what I had the pleasure of devouring at Le's Cafe in Charlotte, NC.
After hearing about Le's Cafe a few weeks ago and most importantly after hearing that they served a Sardine Bánh mì... It was time for a road trip!
After just hearing "Sardine Bánh mì", I became Pavlov's dog. Joining me on this Road Trip was my buddy Matthew (non-Sardine Eater... We're still friends). I wanted to get the opinion of a non-sardine eater on the sandwich as well.
As I walked in, all the sandwiches offered were posted up behind the counter, and there it was... The #9 Sardine Sandwich! As I placed my order the gentleman behind the counter informed me the #9 was fish. After confirming I knew it was fish, my order was placed.
Matthew followed suit, asking for the #9. The gentleman informed Matthew that it was fish, asking if he was sure he wanted the #9 (He must have sensed the hesitation in Matthew's ordering style, or he may have seen through Matthew, knowing he was a non-Sardine Eater in disguise! Whatever it was, he just became the Bánh mì master to me.)
He then asked Matthew if this was his first visit. (The master already knew.) Matthew replied yes. The Bánh mì master informed Matthew he would probably want to go with the #4 or #6 for his first time. Matthew stayed on course and went with the #9.
The Sardine Bánh mì is great. It has a hint of spice and a nice crunch from the veggies. It is a fresh and filling sandwich.
From the non-Sardine eater's point of view. "It was great!" That says a lot!
As I ate the Bánh mì, I thought I recognized the sardines used. I informed Matthew of my thoughts. It was as if I was speaking a foreign language to him. (We all have non-sardine eating friends; I'm sure you know the look.) As we were leaving, I asked the Bánh mì Master about the sardines.
Me: I really enjoyed the sandwich. What brand of sardines do you use?
Bánh mì Master: They are canned fish.
Me: Yes, but what brand?
Bánh mì Master: They are canned fish from (he stated country).
I was pretty sure at this point I was not worthy of this knowledge. I named dropped the brand I thought they were. He paused for a second and said, "yes, that's it." So, in Mouth Full of Sardine's fashion, if you go and enjoy a Sardine Bánh mìi at Le's, which you should, and he tells you the same answer, I'll send you a sardine kit. If--the answer matches mine.
I look forward to going back. I'll be back there again next week, actually!
For a great Bánh mì, go check out Le's Sandwiches & Cafe located at 4520 N Tryon St #41, Charlotte, NC 28213
The Number 9 - Banh Mi Ca Moi... Sardine Banh Mi. Our blend of spices and seasoning, house mayo, crushed sardines, fresh onions, fried red onions, pickled carrots and daikons, fresh jalapeño and cilantro. -- A lot of people, including myself, love this Banh Mi. If you grew up eating sardines right out of the can, on crackers or toast. This one is for you.
Great food, super nice people, home of the Bánh mì master, and the #9 is all any true Sardine Eater needs to enjoy!
Check out Le's Sandwiches on Instagram and Twitter for plenty of hunger pain photos and info.
Keep popping those tins, Sardine Eaters, or eating that Sardine Bánh mì!
Matthew, your next Bánh mì is on me.