Charleston has seen a real Food Truck Renaissance the last two years, with some real winners such as Hello, My Name is BBQ, Strada Cucina, and Roti Rolls (check out Charleston Food Truck Federation for more). The newest edition to the family is AutoBanh, a Banh Mi truck. Banh Mi is the Vietnamese street food, and current Charleston up-and-comer, that blends French and Asian cuisine into a hand-held flavor bomb. With Butcher & Bee and Co both featuring the sandwich on their menu, I was excited to see how this one stacked up.
Whats big and purple and full of Yum?
So off their current menu of 4 sandwiches (With more promised to come) I went with the Grilled then Fried Garlic Pork (All Sandwiches $7). This comes on a 7"Normandy Farms baguette that is dug out to get the bread-to-awesome ratio in line, topped with pickled carrot and daikon slaw, spicy sriracha garlic mayo, cilantro, jalapeño, and what tastes like a very mild nuoc cham. The balance of flavor was fantastic! Bright, sweet and salty at the same time, with the pork retaining a nice crispness. If that is nuoc cham, I would prefer more of it as I am a fish sauce fanatic. The jalapeño and Sriracha mayo provide such little heat that I almost thought I had been ripped off on that point, so if you are spice adverse don't worry, it is mild. My one complaint was that the roll was a lithe too dug out, and split on me, making for a little bit of a mess
Grab extra napkins, just n case
For a side I grabbed one of the local shrimp spring rolls ($3 for one, $5 for two). This is a true, traditional Vietnamese spring roll, no grease need apply as these are not fried. In the heat, sitting on the tailgate of Alfred the Rover, this was a refreshing and bright bite, and would be wonderful for a party tray.
Perhaps my favorite part of the meal was the Vietnamese iced coffee ($3). This sweet and mild concoction is usually made with condensed milk, which eliminates any bitter taste. I would buy this by the jug, and I am confident it would make a great Vietnamese-Irish Coffee.
So finally took The Girl and she had the Crispy Chicken with Sriracha Glaze, and she LOOOOOVED it. My new favorite is the Curry Tofu....OMG. Autobanh is my New Crack. Sorry Crack Classic, we had a good run.
The Scores (Food Truck Rating System:
Facebook/Twitter location updating: 3/5 (No Twitter yet)
Ease of spotting the Truck: 4/5
Overall: 21 out of 30 Tasty street food begging for more spice