Blackbird banh mi: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 87

Admittedly, there's a little sticker shock involved in seeing an $11 price tag on a sandwich that typically costs 3 bucks. How much wood is the 'ol woodchuck going to have to chuck to pay for such a lunch?

But after a few bites, it's apparent that Blackbird's gourmet banh mi is a meal from a different, but parallel universe--and something worth the splurge.

Comparing Blackbird's banh mi and those sold at the neighborhood Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall, the essential architecture is the same: bread, protein, garnishes. But instead of the sometimes too-dry-and-crumbly baguette, Blackbird subs a French Meadow organic focaccia bun, with a perfect crusty-soft contrast. The meat is not from mysterious origins: The thick pile of shredded pork comes from naturally raised Duroc. Each bite's rich comfort is perked up by house-pickled veggies, jalapenos, and cilantro.

And by the time you factor in the extras--the cheery, light-filled room, the decor's quirky charm, the chance to top your meal off with a slice of mocha cake--Blackbird's banh mi is worth every penny.

3800 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 88 Tank Goodness Minneapolis
No. 89: Sole Cafe's gal bee
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon
No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic Panna Cotta
No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery Crawdad Po' Boy
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes

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