It pays to drive the carpool. It can be deliciously rewarding in many ways.
Twice a week I drive my son and his buddy over to evening lacrosse practice. En route, I get the scoop on everything from the Spanish curriculum at a local middle school to the boys’ recap on last week’s game.
Recently, one of our carpool conversations circled around food. We were talking about my son James’s favorite teriyaki joint in the neighborhood and our 14-year-old car pool passenger quickly chimed in with HIS favorite joint in the area…Banh Town.
Banh Town: Vietnamese Street Food. Banh Mi. Pho. Happiness
I was immediately intrigued by his suggestion because the place had been on my list for about two years…Will quickly gave me a recap on their pho and their sandwich selection. Sighing in the back seat, he told me their vermicelli salad was “the best.” I think Will was in fact making a mental note to get back there sooner rather than later.
I made a similar note and this week when my husband and I wanted something light, fresh and different for lunch, I suggested Banh Town. We were soon out the door and on our way to this small, bright and cheerful little family owned and operated Vietnamese restaurant. Located at the busy intersection of Greenwood Avenue North and Holman Road and sitting right behind a Jiffy Lube, Banh Town is a treasure. The interior is bright and the walls are decorated with large colorful photographs of Vietnam.
Chauanh, was our server and she is also one of the owners. Service with a smile seems to be the mantra at Banh Town and we were quickly briefed on the menu which includes an array of banh mi, pho, vermicelli salads and a variety of starters. Although I’ve been making a lot of pho during this wet and rainy Seattle winter we’ve been having, I opted to celebrate the sunshine yesterday and ordered the chicken vermicelli salad ($9.95). My husband had the five spice chicken banh mi ($6.95) and we shared two spring rolls ($7) and an order of quail’s egg poppers ($7), which were a family recipe from Grandma Le. ( I think Grandma Le might be Chauanh’s maternal grandma. We were told she is a great cook and she is cited as the recipe creator on a few of the flagship items on the menu so take note!)
The banh mi arrived with a side of sesame slaw and the sandwich was light and beautifully done with a crispy airy French roll and lots of fresh cilantro. My salad was full of flavor and the skewered chicken was grilled to the perfect degree. Perched on top of cold vermicelli noodles and a cucumber lettuce combo, the chicken added a nice protein punch to the light and satisfying entrée. The quail’s egg poppers were crispy on the outside and the interior was subtle and comforting.
The bill was reasonable by Seattle standards and totaled less $40 with tax and tip. The restaurant is now open seven days a week and offers takeout and delivery via Doordash and Postmates.
The restaurant’s logo touts: Banh Town: Vietnamese Street Food. Banh Mi. Pho. Happiness.
Yep, that pretty much sums it up.