At JoJu, your sandwich comes conveniently packaged in a pair of (recyclable) paper-tissue bags, perfect for sharing.
Over the last decade, New Yorkers have fallen in love with the Vietnamese sandwich banh mi. The best are found at a pair of places: Saigon Banh Mi in Chinatown and Ba Xuyen in Sunset Park.
Out of the bag and into your mouth! JoJu’s beef bulgogi banh mi
The sandwich itself is the product of fusion, combining in equal amounts French and Vietnamese influences. The baguette is originally French, for example, and so is the pate (with Southeast Asian twists), while the shredded pickled vegetables, chiles, and cilantro are contributions of Viet cuisine.
Well, the sandwich is undergoing further fusion at JoJu, a new banh mi parlor just south of the LIRR on Elmhurst’s Broadway. Seating is sunny and comfortable, and service is fast. And perhaps the best part is that sandwiches — more than a full meal — are priced around $5.
You can get a beef bulgogi (Korean) banh mi, or a pork belly (Japanese) banh mi, via the Taiwanese proprietors, ever sensitive to the ethnic mix of customers in the neighborhood, and their culinary desires. For vegetarians, you can get a sandwich stuffed with mock ham. More traditional fillings are also available.
The scene when JoJu first opened
See other installments of FiTR’s Fusion Chronicles: