Banh Mi Showdown: Nom Nom Truck vs. Eat Phamish

Finally! The stars have aligned in such a way that TWO trucks serving Vietnamese style banh mi sandwiches were in El Segundo at the same time on the same day.

In this episode of Food Truck Friday, we compare sandwiches from two of my favorite banh mi trucks to see which one comes out on top. May the best sandwich win!

Webs: http://nomnomtruck.com/la, http://www.eatphamish.com

Twitters: @NomNomTruck, @EatPhamish

The Trucks:

The Food:

nom nom on the left, eat phamish on the right

And in this corner, wearing the brown baguette, measuring in at about 6 inches long....

For this taste test, I put the Nom Nom’s grilled pork banh mi against the Lemongrass Pork banh mi from Eat Phamish. Before we get to the details, let’s take a look inside each sandwich.

nom nom inside view

An inside view of the Nom Nom sandwich.

Inside the Nomster, I found thick chunks of seasoned, grilled pork and lots of the requisite veggies: pickled carrots and daikon radish, cilantro, jalapeño, and cucumbers. All of that goodness was served inside a French baguette and topped with a thin spread of creamy mayo-like dressing.

eat phamish inside view

An inside view of the Eat Phamish sandwich.

The Eat Phamish sandwich was lightly dressed with small pieces of lemongrass seasoned pork, a thick slice of cucumber, cilantro, a gentle dusting of pickled carrots and daikon radish, and a creamy spread.

At the initial glance, both sandwiches fit the bill for a traditional banh mi. But how did they taste!?

To pull the flavor data together and track the winner, I used the following table. Look for the criteria in the left hand column, the comparison across the middle, and my pick for the winner – along with comments – on the right.

 

Item

Nom Nom

Eat Phamish

Winner

Comments

Price

$6

$6

Tie

Meat

Grilled Pork

Lemon Grass Pork

Eat Phamish

The Lemon grass flavor adds a lightness to the sandwich…its like sunshine on a baguette

Condiments

Carrots, daikon radish, light cucumber, jalapeño, mayo, light cilantro

Light carrots, daikon radish, mayo, thick cucumber, heavy cilantro

Nom Nom

I love the stinky daikon and thinly sliced cucumbers

Bread

French baguette

French baguette

Eat Phamish

The bread is a bit thinner on the inside; the outside is crispier with an additional flavor of fresh bread essence. Nom Nom’s bread is a bit thicker with a slightly less fresh taste.

Overall Flavor

Savory and toothsome, plenty of grilled pork flavor, lightly seasoned with fabulously funky daikon and carrots (the stink up the whole car kind). Sweet and delicate; the lemongrass flavor is pervasive and mates nicely with the cilantro. Dressed a bit heavier with thicker cucumbers and more cilantro, daikon and carrots are present but aren’t funky (could be good or bad). The bread is a treat by itself with a light, scripy butteriness that brings all of the other flavors together.

Eat Phamish


 

Taking the lead in three out of five categories, our winner in the Banh Mi Showdown is none other than Eat Phamish!

Honestly, both sandwiches are great. If you’re lucky enough to get a hold of either sandwich, you’ll be in for a treat. But in my opinion, the bread on the Eat Phamish sandwich puts them way out in front.

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About the Author

Michael loves grilling, rum, and has a weakness for key lime pie.

6 Responses to “Banh Mi Showdown: Nom Nom Truck vs. Eat Phamish”

  1. Great post! I’ve been waiting for this one.
    Now bring on Mandoline Grill :)

  2. Sorry to keep you waiting, CJ! Believe me, if I could have gotten Mandoline Grill in on this one, it would have been a close three way competition. Maybe I will have to do a whole bracket with single eliminations or something. haha! :D

  3. Excellent comparison between two great sandwiches. I really liked Nom Nom, but I think you are right, the lemongrass is excellent!

    Eat Phamish’ spring rolls are YUM as well. Best I’ve had.

    Plus cafe su da to complete the delicious lunch!

  4. Thanks for the comment, Bryan. For the record, Nom Nom has a lemongrass chicken but I figured I should do a pork to pork comparison. I’ll have to try their spring rolls too!

  5. I laughed when I went to read this cuz we ended up at a Vietnamese bakery at the end of our crawl today & one of the guys kept talking about Banh Mi so I got one. I also felt gypped cuz I only paid $3 for a pork bank mi AND a coffee! Half the price of the food trucks. I will say tho that the food trucks, at least Phamish, cuz that’s the only one I tried, stayed true to the real deal.

  6. Yes! You can get banh mi from places for way cheaper than the trucks. But the trucks do a good job of making it as nice of an experience as they can. Did you go to Lee’s Sandwiches!? They have great banu mi and coffee for not too much at all.

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