UPDATE: April 7, 2013
I finally got to try the new Asian bbq sandwich from Publix! (Seen above) though not too much to do with a Vietnamese banh mi sub, the sandwich itself was not too bad. I enjoyed the pork but it could be improved with some more hoisin bbq sauce. They should make a spicy option of this sandwich with optional sriracha hot sauce. Overall, not too shabby Publix!
As described first by TheDailyCity.com here, Publix has unleashed their newest creation the Asian BBQ Sub sandwich, inspired by the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich.
The official post on the new sandwich can be found here: the official Publix post on new Asian BBQ Sub sandwich.
The banh mi inspired sandwiches is nothing new, there have been many mainstream restaurants as well as local food trucks such as Big Wheel Food Truck who have put their own touches and homages on the Vietnamese street food dish.
Publix is a local Central Florida institution and is well renown for their deli sandwiches. Is this move to an “Asian” inspired sandwich another step towards the bastardization of Vietnamese cuisine, a simple way to cash in on a cultural phenomenon, or just an evolution of American cuisine?
The Publix Asian BBQ sandwich features roasted and shredded pork in a sweet chili BBQ sauce, topped with cucumbers, matchstick carrots, and fresh cilantro.
If this was a true banh mi, traditionally they would use sweetly pickled cucumbers and carrots and there would be a liver pate and butter spread on a French baguette.
I wouldn’t be so bothered by it all if they only spelled “banh mi” correctly on their site (incorrectly as “bahn mi”) or if they could get rid of those signs in Vietnamese that say “no parking” at their Publix store at Shine Avenue and Colonial, in the heart of the Vietnamese district in Mills 50.
Signs in Vietnamese – literally “Parking for Publix Customers Only” – I think that would be nice if they changed to “Feel free to park here we love the Vietnamese community and their banh mi sandwiches”
Try them all and let me know what you think!