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Soft inside and flaky on the outside—that’s the kind of baguette you want to bite into when you’re eating banh mi, the classic French-inspired sandwich of Vietnam. It shouldn’t be too chewy, but instead slightly airy, with a smooth, toasted exterior. And most important of all, it should be baked fresh, on-site. Fortunately for us, the baguettes used for the banh mi at tidy and friendly Binh Minh fulfill each of these ideals. And sandwiched in the middle of the peerless nine-inch baguette? A balance of salty and sweet, tangy and spicy in the form of succulent barbecued pork, bright orange slivers of pickled carrot, fragrant cilantro, crunchy shredded daikon radish, fresh jalapeños, and a slathering of mayonnaise. There are other combinations, of course, but after your first mouthful of this version, you’ll know, “This is the banh for me.”

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