Wild Ginger Bellevue has added new lunch items for busy Bellevue-ites. The restaurant’s new Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi) menu targets locals who want to order a quick lunch to go. “While we continue to welcome guests of Wild Ginger Bellevue to sit down to a delicious lunch with colleagues and friends, we’re excited to provide these gourmet sandwiches that use our authentic, house-made ingredients packaged up for those on the go,” said Wild Ginger Co-Owner Rick Yoder in a press release.
The sandwiches can only be ordered online (the process is supposed meant to be easy to do via mobile, but I haven’t tried that yet). You can place a single order, or sign up for an account to keep track of your purchases and make multiple orders for, say a business meeting, easy.
The menu features three sandwiches — pork, chicken and vegetarian. The pork and chicken both contain the standard pickled vegetables (onion, carrot, cucumber) and cilantro, but the pork is lathered with a hoisin mayonnaise, while the chicken’s mayo is sambal based. The vegetarian option features tofu, lettuce, pickled eggplant, green papaya, zucchini and wasabi mayo.
All three sandwiches are $8. This might be sticker shock if you’re a veteran banh mi eater (many Vietnamese sandwiches in Seattle’s International District run from $2-$4), but the sandwiches at Wild Ginger are quite filling.
I tried the pork, and I could taste the higher quality of meat. The generous chunks were were full of flavor and lacked the unappetizing gristle and fat I’ve found in other banh mi. The pickled vegetables were not overely sweet or sour, and added the perfect amount of crunch. The baguette (which of course is the cornerstone of any good sandwich) is quite good — flaky and light enough so that consuming it isn’t such a workout for your jaw, but sturdy enough to hold up to all of the sandwich’s (messy) ingredients. The hoisin mayo had a tinge of umami-ness going on, but I could do with less of it, as it ended up being more on the sweet side. The sandwich is extremely satisfying as is (it’s a hearty endeavor — much larger than your average banh mi), but I would have enjoyed some spice somewhere. Perhaps you can request some sambal on the side if that’s your thing, which I may do the next time I need a quick lunch in downtown Bellevue.
The special banh mi menu is available for order online and for pickup at the restaurant during the lunch hours of 11:30am to 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday.