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100 Favorite Houston Dishes 2015, No. 69: Banh Mi Thap Cam at Café TH

When it comes to banh mi, mo' meat is mo’ betta as far as I’m concerned. There’s no way that I’m going to choose only one. It all sounds good and the best answer is ordering a combination.

At Café TH, the Banh Mi Thap Cam (thap cam means “mixed” in Vietnamese) includes every meat option there: pâté, pork roll (steamed pork sausage called ch? l?a), chicken cold cuts, pork meatballs and good sliced ham with a thin layer of fat on the edge. A peppercorn ham is added, too. The inside is dressed with just enough mayonnaise to moisten the contents.

It is important to remember that the sandwich is named for the bread (bánh mì literally translates to “bread”), not the fillings. So, it’s imperative that the baguette be fresh, with a thin exterior crust and tender interior. Café TH’s never disappoints.

Much of the allure comes from the brightness of pickled, shredded carrots, fresh cilantro and just enough fresh jalapeño slices to keep you on your toes. Café TH’s crisp vegetables, creamy pâté, thick sausage and salty ham makes for a veritable playground of contrasting, but complimentary, flavors and textures. 

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