Banh mi is one of those sandwiches that inspires a whole lot of love and devotion, especially if you’ve got a personal connection to this hallmark of Vietnamese cuisine. For Reyna Duong, better known as the “Sandwich Hag,” banh mi is about to become a way of life.
On April 9, Duong will launch the first of what will likely be many Sandwich Hag pop-up banh mi shops in between The Grapevine and Val’s Cheesecakes. Duong embarked on the project largely because she decided to “stop complaining about how far the drive is for a banh mi,” and bring Dallas her take on the classic sandwich.
A native of Vietnam, Duong was born in a small fishing village called Rach Gia. When the Vietnam War ended, Duong’s family escaped invading Communist fighters in the middle of the night on a boat and landed in Malaysia. From there, Duong moved with her 11 brothers and sisters to California in 1979.
“I grew up as mom’s sous chef,” Duong tells Eater. “Mom never spoke a lick of English, never learned how to drive and she was extremely hard core traditional in every sense of the word. She made everything from scratch.” Sandwich Hag follows that same philosophy – even the peanut butter for Duong’s spring roll sauce is made from scratch.
Plans are currently in the works to bring Sandwich Hag to a brick-and-mortar shop, but no official timeline for opening has been set. In the meantime, you can try Sandwich Hag’s banh mi for yourself at the pop-up on Saturday, April 9. The festivities kick off at 11 a.m., and last until 3 p.m., or until all the banh mi have been devoured.