Turns out Ms. Tygrlilies had other things on her mind. Such as, why she couldn't find the classic Vietnamese sandwich "Bánh Mì" (a.k.a. Saigon Sub) any where on S365. Thinking my answer would suffice, I gave her my reason and promised to bring a Bánh Mì to the fore soon, but no dice. A day later, Ms. T. emailed again, and this time she brought the goods!
Not only did she seek out and find an establishment in her neck of the woods with a Bánh Mì on the menu, she managed to find the Bánh Mì mother load called "Baguette Express".
A full-on restaurant specializing in.... you guessed it, the Bánh Mì Sandwich. As Ms. T's photos depict, at Baguette Express you can order your Bánh Mì via drive-thru, or go inside to choose from a large and varied menu of sandwich ingredients. Even shop their little store for other VN delicacies. Decidedly Asian, specifically Vietnamese/French Indochinese, it would appear the flavor combinations have managed to cross over in appeal to a decidedly American palate. In translation, Bánh mì Pháp với thịt nướng means Baguette with grilled meat.
Historically, bread is not native to Vietnam and at one time was seen as the food of the 'poor'. Those who could not afford rice, or a place to cook rice had to eat bread for dinner instead of rice.
In the colonial days, the sandwiches were sold in deli's to the French colonials. Around 1940's-1950's, the 'French sandwiches' ("banh mi Tay", literally 'French bread') became a status symbol, and cheaper versions of them started to show up in Vietnamese stores. Basic Bánh Mì ingredients consist of thinly sliced pickled carrots, diakon, cucumbers, cilantro, chili peppers, pate, mayo and a choice of grilled pork, sausage, ham or chicken on a French baguette, 'Po Boy' style.
Many, many thanks to Ms. Tygrlilies for her curiosity, appetite and tenacity in bringing this MUST HAVE addition to the S365 sandwich mix.