LOCAL Houston | The City Guide December 2016 - Page 27

FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE OUI BANH MI CUISINE: Vietnamese 1601 Richmond Ave. | 832.831.5172 | oui-banhmi.com Mon–Sat: 11am–11:59pm; Sun: closed Photo by Rebekah Flores The Vietnamese community has had a long-standing impact on the Houston restaurant scene. With the fourth largest Vietnamese American population in the U.S. (behind three areas in California), Houston has definitely been blessed. Oui Bahn Mi, the newest addition to this scene, is a perfect fit. Taking over the old Lucky Burger location on Richmond Avenue, Lynh Li (co-owner of Les Givral’s, which she runs with her brother) brings the fast casual concept that still delivers the traditional flavors with a spin. With the addition of a drive-thru, Oui Banh Mi sets itself apart. It’s not fast food in any sense. It is food made quickly that still maintains a level of quality far beyond the typical drive-thru. Featured on the menu are the standard fare, noodle soup (pho), bun (vermicelli) and egg rolls (cha gio). And of course, the banh mi or classic Vietnamese sandwich. I was treated to the chargrilled pork and the shredded chicken. The pork was tender and well-flavored on a soft French roll. The shredded chicken provided a good contrast, though I did add a little Sriracha, mostly because I could. The dumplings, only available at Oui and not at Les Givral’s, were a good vegetarian option. With the spicy fish sauce, they were light and refreshing. To accompany our meal, I had the hazelnut coffee, a welcome variation on the Vietnamese coffee I have learned to love in my 30 years in Houston. Thicker than a regular iced coffee, it wasn’t too sweet, which allowed the hazelnut flavor to come through. I could easily see driving through several times a day just for the coffee. OK, I’d probably pick up a banh mi on at least one trip. No question. Interior Open from 11am until midnight, Oui Banh Mi provides the perfect option to satisfy everyone’s Viet cravings. Quickly, but still done well. The lunch special is a phenomenal deal. For $10 you get a personal-size signature pie or your own masterpiece. If you can make it a drinking lunch, the craft beers, frozen drinks and bottled cocktails are a perfect match. If not, come back for Happy Hour/Dinner, and stay for the boozy ice cream provided by Lee’s Creamery. For the health-conscious, the salads are perfect. The arugula with strawberries, spiced pecans, chevre and roasted shallots is a standout. With portions sufficient to share, it even satisfies the carnivore writing this review. Having the brick and mortar allows Pi, through the talented Laurie Harvey, to offer a variety of frozen drinks and bottled cocktails. The Pineapple Express, a tequila-based cocktail with Mexican flair, is my personal favorite. Similar to a pina colada, cayenne and cinnamon provide a pleasant spicy/smoky kick. Harvey’s bottled cocktails are a satisfying twist on the craft cocktail trend. Prepared each morning, the bottles make it easier to serve customers quickly without sacrificing quality. I love the Hanoi High Five, a gin-based cocktail combining my favorite Thai flavors, almost like drinking a Tiger Cry salad. With the permanent location, Pi Pizza has raised its game. I invite you to play. Drinks december 16 | LOCAL 27 FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE OUI BANH MI CUISINE: Vietnamese 1601 Richmond Ave. | 832.831.5172 | oui-banhmi.com Mon–Sat: 11am–11:59pm; Sun: closed Photo by Rebekah Flores The Vietnamese community has had a long-standing impact on the Houston restaurant scene. With the fourth largest Vietnamese American population in the U.S. (behind three areas in California), Houston has definitely been blessed. Oui Bahn Mi, the newest addition to this scene, is a perfect fit. Taking over the old Lucky Burger location on Richmond Avenue, Lynh Li (co-owner of Les Givral’s, which she runs with her brother) brings the fast casual concept that still delivers the traditional flavors with a spin. With the addition of a drive-thru, Oui Banh Mi sets itself apart. It’s not fast food in any sense. It is food made quickly that still maintains a level of quality far beyond the typical drive-thru. Featured on the menu are the standard fare, noodle soup (pho), bun (vermicelli) and egg rolls (cha gio). And of course, the banh mi or classic Vietnamese sandwich. I was treated to the chargrilled pork and the shredded chicken. The pork was tender and well-flavored on a soft French roll. The shredded chicken provided a good contrast, though I did add a little Sriracha, mostly because I could. The dumplings, only available at Oui and not at Les Givral’s, were a good vegetarian option. With the spicy fish sauce, they were light and refreshing. To accompany our meal, I had the hazelnut coffee, a welcome variation on the Vietnamese coffee I have learned to love in my 30 years in Houston. Thicker than a regular iced coffee, it wasn’t too sweet, which allowed the hazelnut flavor to come through. I could easily see driving through several times a day just for the coffee. OK, I’d probably pick up a banh mi on at least one trip. No question. Interior Open from 11am until midnight, Oui Banh Mi provides the perfect option to satisfy everyone’s Viet cravings. Quickly, but ѥݕ()Qչ́ȀԁЁͽͥ)ͥɔȁȁݸѕ%ԁЁɥչѡ)ɅЁ̰ɽ镸ɥ́ѱх́ɔəЁэ%а)ȁ!!ȽȰх䁙ȁѡ䁥ɕɽ٥)1é ɕ)ȁѡѠ͍̰ѡ́ͅɔəиQ՝ձݥѠɅ݉ɥ̰)̰ɔɽѕ́́͡хи]Ѡѥ́ՙ)Ѽ͡ɔЁٕͅѥ͙́ѡɹٽɔɥѥѡ́ɕ٥ܸ)!٥ѡɥхȁ́Aѡɽ՝ѡхѕ1ɥ!ٕ䰁Ѽ)ȁمɥ䁽ɽ镸ɥ́ѱх̸QAɕ̰)ѕե͕хݥѠ5᥍Ȱ́ͽٽɥєMȁѼ)啹ɽ٥ͅЁ͵䁭)!ٕéѱх́ɔͅѥ͙她ݥЁѡɅЁхɕ)Aɕɕɹѡѱ́ЁͥȁѼ͕ٔѽ́ե)ݥѡЁͅɥՅ丁$ٔѡ!!͕ٔх)䁙ٽɥєQٽ̰ЁɥQȁ ͅ)ɥ()]ѠѡɵЁѥAA鄁́Ʌ͕́$٥єԁѼ()Ȁ؁()0< 0((((