Keep Houston Press Free

Banh Mi Bo Kho: Soup or Sandwich?

Banh mi means "bread" in Vietnamese and thit means "ham"; banh mi thit is a ham sandwich. So when I saw banh mi bo kho on the menu at Banh Cuon Hoa #2 on Beechnut, the subject of this week's cafe review, I figured bread + beef stew = a Vietnamese roast beef sandwich. Ever since I first learned about Vietnamese sandwiches, I have been looking for the banh mi stuffed with curry and saucy meats that I have heard are popular in Vietnam.

No such luck. The beef stew was watery, and it had a lot of carrots in it. It was more of a soup that a stew. I split the bread in half and tried to stuff it with beef and broth. It would have tasted passable if each hunk of meat hadn't had a chewy piece of gristle attached to it. I couldn't eat the sandwich. So I ordered some banh cuon -- the rice paper rolls the restaurant is named after.

You can get a New Orleans roast beef poor boy at Vietnamese-owned poor boy shops like Calliope or Jazzy Café. But is there any place that serves a hot Vietnamese roast beef sandwich with gravy? Or do Vietnamese roast beef sandwiches even exist?

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.