No. 78: Bánh Tieu at Bánh Mì So 1

No. 78: Bánh Tieu at Bánh Mì So 1

Welcome to the Weekly's list of our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2011! Tune in every day until we get to número uno! Now, on to the latest entry. . . .

I'm still of the opinion that Vietnamese pastries don't get enough respect, get lost in the world of bánh mì, pho, and even bún. Bánh Mì So 1, of course, isn't a pastry shop but rather one of the many steam-tray restaurants in Little Saigon, and better than most. But what I enjoy most about the place is their freshly made bánh tieus, the giant bread shown above.

This is what I wrote in my original review:

...puffed-up fry bread the size of a balled-up T-shirt and studded with sesame seeds that pop with their tang. The inside is hollow, so all you're eating is essentially a massive crust--but what a crust! Toasted so the sugar mixed into the flour has caramelized slightly, turning the crust the color of the leather used on Spanish-style chairs, yet retaining a fluffy chew.

I'd only add at this point that they're best enjoyed fresh, but even left on the counter under a heat lamp for hours, they're still delicious. What amazes me most about them, besides the uniquely Vietnamese duality of sweet and savory, is the color. Look at it! Some parts nearly black, other a healthy brown, other the color of leather. You almost want to use each bánh tieu as a water pouch, so sturdy it is. Hey, maybe I can fill it with milk...

9812 Bolsa Ave., Ste. 102, Westminster, (714) 775-8834.

Click here for our 100 faves from 2010! The list so far this time around:

No. 80: Fish Pho at Pho Vinh Ky II
No. 81: Quesadilla Chilanga at Alebrije's Grill
No. 82: Lobster Roll at Lobsta Truck
No. 83: Nem Nuong Cuon at Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
No. 84: Wild Boar Balinese Sausage at Valhalla Table
No. 85: Comida Corrida at Taquería La Raza
No. 86: Breakfast Burrito at Troy's Drive-In
No. 87: Mandoo at L&M Liquor and Deli
No. 88: Chicago Dog at Chicago Harv's
No. 89: Sweet Potato Tater Tots at Pee Wee's Famous
No. 90: Kaya-Stuffed French Toast at Chomp Chomp
No. 91: Egg Breakfast at Rick's Atomic Kitchen
No. 92: Sticky Rice With Chicken at Quan Hy
No. 93: Beef Koobideh at Hen House Grill
No. 94: $5 Fish Bento at Bentoss
No. 95: Milanesa Sandwich at Piaggio's Gourmet on Wheels
No. 96: Samurai Burrito at Wafu of Japan
No. 97: Carnitas Gordita at Bodega R Ranch Market
No. 98: Spam Musubi at k'ya Street Fare
No. 99: Tortilla Andorra at Anepalco's
No. 100: Lemongrass Chicken, Extra Spicy at Vietnam's Pearl

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