The sandwiches ubiquitous in Vietnam are available now in the Highlands, at Banh Mì Hero, the shop recently opened by Lee Tran, a Sullivan student who brings a background in Vietnamese cuisine.
“My mother owns Annie Cafe, the Vietnamese restaurant,” Tran says. “I grew up there. When I was 10, I’d go in and see how high I could get the wok fire without burning myself. I started cooking when I was about 13. I liked it … it’s very gratifying when a customer compliments you.”
Tran says he chose to specialize in the sandwiches because “we don’t have a banh mì shop in Louisville. Bigger cities on the West and East Coast do, and I wanted to bring that to Louisville.”
He offers both what he calls traditional and innovative sandwiches. “It’s not a banh mì without pâté,” he explains, so all eight sandwiches except the vegetarian option feature the spread. Offerings range from the Saigon Hero, a “classic banh mì” on a Sullivan Bakery-made baguette with slices of steamed pork sausage, braised pork belly, homemade pâté, house aioli, molasses-infused soy sauce, cilantro, cucumbers, onions, pickled carrots and daikon, to the CLC: curried lemongrass chicken with lettuce, cilantro, chicken pâté, homemade aioli, pickled carrots and daikon.
Banh Mì Hero, 2245 Bardstown Road, is open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Monday-Thursday, 5-9 p.m.; and till 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. More information: (502) 456-2022 or banhmihero.com.
Beer Engine plans for Germantown hit roadblock
Plans to bring the popular Danville brewery Beer Engine to the old Zeppelin Cafe in Germantown have hit a zoning roadblock, but owner Brian Holton says, “We’re gonna try every way we possibly can to get this done because there’s nowhere else we’d rather be.”
Plans for the 10,000-square-foot space include a full restaurant with an emphasis on locally raised, pastured meats at an “approachable price,” and a brewery, but Holton learned last week he would need to rezone.
“The planning/zoning guys said we can’t brew beer as a C1 … you have to be M2, which is manufacturing.” Though he could open the restaurant with the current zoning, “part of what makes Beer Engine great is brewing on premise,” says Holton, “… and offering house-made beers that are made locally for Schnitzelburg and the people of Louisville.”
“It’s a big roadblock,” Holton says. “The guys said assuming we get it all approved the best case scenario is six months, but generally it’s eight months to a year.”
But “we are optimistic,” says Holton. “We want to be part of the Schnitzelburg/Germantown community … we feel like there’s good bars and restaurants in the area. We’ve spoken with the owners of Check’s and Eiderdown and Four Pegs. … I hope that all the restaurants and bars in the area can work together to make Schnitzelburg/Germantown a great food and drink area of Louisville. I have big ideas for that sort of stuff.”
Holton invites area residents to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how they might help with the rezoning.
Quills Coffee is offering free homebrewing classes Saturday at each of its locations. The classes demonstrate expert brewing using a v60 dripper and chemex. For class times, go to www.quillscoffee.com and check out the blog.
St. Charles Exchange, 113 S. Seventh St., is offering a “Power Lunch” with menu options available for diners who have 30 or 45 minutes for lunch.
North End Cafe now offers a Brunch Happy Hour and Bloody Mary Bar on Saturdays and Sundays at both locations from 1 to 5 p.m.
Midway School Bakery will hold a holiday open house Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at 510 S. Winter St. in Midway, featuring Kentucky Proud gift baskets, homemade bakery goods and other local food-related gifts.
Gelato Gilberto, 9434 Norton Commons Blvd., will offer hand-printed gift certificates that purchasers can personalize with stickers, sparkles and crafty items at a Weekend Decoration Station Saturday, Sunday and Dec. 22 and 23. Certificates come in $10 increments.
Tell Dana! Send your restaurant “dish” to Dana McMahan at email@example.com.