Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

March 29, 2012

Banh mi never sells when it’s on our menu, winter or summer, but it’s one of my favorites whether it’s at Saigon Sandwich or Solbar.  Today we have a roasted duck banh mi on the menu with a duck pate:

Ooo.  Good and livery, just the right amount of quatre-epices, pistachio, and chunks of duck breast.  Plenty of pork fat in there too.

Finished product:  crusty baguette, spicy mayo, cilantro, pickled carrots, shredded romaine, sliced and seared duck breast seasoned with plenty of nam pla.  Served next to a pile of crispy sweet potato chips.

I like sandwiches.  A LOT.  I realize that’s not a terribly incisive or original observation, but realize that I’m a chef because I love food.  And sandwiches have a special place in my belly’s heart.  They are the sine qua non of restaurant work because they’re hand-held whole meals that I can eat standing up.  Empires have been built on less.

some standouts:

  • chicken flyer at Ham’s in Chapel Hill, NC
  • cheeseburger at Gott’s in St Helena
  • chopped pork barbecue at Allen & Sons off Highway 86 outside of Durham, NC
  • pulled pork barbecue at the Ugly Dog Saloon in New Orleans
  • pork banh mi at Saigon Sandwich, Larkin & Eddy, SF
  • roast beef po’boy at Zara’s, Garden District, New Orleans
  • muffaletta, Frankie and Johnny’s, uptown just off Tchopitoulas, New Orleans
  • hot dog all the way, Yum Yum Better Ice Cream, Greensboro, NC
  • french dip with horseradish (and a Ketel One bloody mary), Rutherford Grill, NV
  • cheeseburger at Red Rock Cafe in Napa
  • santa fe turkey and jarlsberg swiss with the works at Giugni’s in St Helena
  • grilled cheese at Sutton’s in Chapel Hill
  • my grandmother’s tomato and cucumber sandwiches in the summertime
  • the #18 (fishy slaw) at Palisades Deli in Calistoga

ADD THIS BANH MI TO THE LIST!!!  It is freaking stunning–crunchy, spicy, rich, meaty, tender, acid/sweet pop, just . . . ah.

2 Responses to “a pretty piece of flesh”

  1. Julie says:

    I love Banh Mi! Although I never see it on your menu?

    Side note – are you going to post the recipe to the delicious shrimp wraps?


    • Brandon Sharp says:

      It’s on the menu today . . .

      That recipe is about ten recipes, and it’ll be in the cookbook.

      Know any publishers?

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