Coming back to Vietnam, there was one food that Bordeaux and I were anticipating beyond all others. Sure, we were looking forward to pho, and were eager to have shrimp on sugarcane again, but one treat was truly tempting us. Thankfully, we didn’t have to walk too far in Hanoi on our first morning before we found a young girl selling it. We recognized her by the stack of golden baguettes in her class case; we confirmed what she was selling with the sight of a long block of fatty meat on a shelf below. We ordered two, and she quickly set to work. After a minute, she handed us two filled baguettes, two binh my pate, wrapped in old newspaper.
We had become rather addicted to these distinctive Indonchine sandwiches while traveling through Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and so it was with some restraint that we waited until we got to a bench on the Hoan Kiem lake before we unwrapped them. They were perfect, just as good as we had remembered. Crusty, fresh baguettes, overfilled with cilantro, cold meats, and a salty spread of pate. This one was also enhanced with the addition of charred garlic, adding a flavor that was perfect for the chilly Hanoi morning. It was a great way to be welcomed back to Vietnam.