Hanco: Bahn mi on Bergen
A Vietnamese sandwich shop called "Hanco" just opened at 85 Bergen Street, just off of Smith, near the F and G subway stop.
So far, I've had two sandwiches from Hanco and they both been delicious. The first was the grilled pork Bahn Mi with shredded daikon and carrot vinaigrette, cilantro, mayo, and fresh jalepeno peppers. A few days later I went back for the grilled chicken version and found it equally good.
Hanco features the traditional Vietnamese sandwich: ground pork, Vietnamese ham, pate, and the usual veggie trimmings. You can also replace the ground pork with grilled chicken, pork chop, grilled pork, sardine, or a vegetarian filling. If you don't like sandwiches, you're pretty much out of luck. They're still using the first printing of the menu with spring rolls and salads, but those items have been crossed out. Hanco is sticking to the basics.
Unlike a lot of Bahn Mi places, Hanco uses french bread that is actually crispy and slightly chewy. One of my pet peeves about Bahn Mi's in Vancouver is that the bread is too soft and too doughy. Hanco takes pride in crisping its bread at the last minute. The counter girl politely but firmly refused to allow a customer to leave the store clutching her take-out back too tightly.
"I don't like to see you hold that so tight," she said. "Later, it won't be crispy."
The Vietnamese coffee is tasty, too. Not too sweet. You can taste hints of cereal and chocolate through the condensed milk. The overall effect is reminiscent of Coffee Crisp.
Looks like I'm not the only resident who's elated about this development: Twenty Bucks a Day.