Been a while since I rapped at you. I have no excuse (blogging is dead). Anyway, stay tuned for news of a big trip to the Lowcountry, but until then, terrifying news from Dallas (is there any other kind):
As part of its new series of test concepts (including a chicken restaurant called Super Chix and a fast-casual taco shop), Yum! Brands, parent company to restaurants like Taco Bell and KFC, is indeed opening a banh mi sandwich shop. (Eater)
The banh mi is a delicious sandwich made with terrifying cold cuts, a few slivers of carrot and daikon, some dubious mayo, and cilantro.* What makes it delicious is the bread. The one thing the Yum! brands family has demonstrated is complete helplessness and indifference to any bread related food substance. The entire business model for Pizza Hut is "Hey! Let's put pizza toppings on fried dough and see if anyone notices." Are they going to bring in the guy who perfected KFC's biscuits to devise a perfect mini baguette with a shattering crust that can be produced by kids in a mall working at Banh Shop in the interval between quitting the Genius Bar and when Foot Locker starts hiring?
More generally, I am concerned about the martinification of one of my favorite sandwiches. Martinis got popular, and the next thing you knew, someone was trying to sell you a sour apple martini, or French toast martini, or some damn thing. The same thing is happening with banh mi. If you run a restaurant, and you a) buy your eyeglasses on the Internet, or b) you have a Twitter, then if you have a sandwich on a baguette on the menu, chances are you're calling it a banh mi. But it's not. I will take to the Twitter for the rest of the discussion. In any case, if proof were needed, it's just another Guiteau Monday.