The Cedars, a neighborhood south of downtown Dallas, received a kick of Asian flare and flavor with the arrival of Sandwich Hag, a casual walk-up restaurant that specializes in Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches.
Banh mi sandwiches are the stars of Sandwich Hag's menu. Starting with a toasted French baguette, the sandwiches come with house-made garlic aioli, pickled carrots and radishes, cucumber slices, jalapenos and cilantro. Customers also have the choice between four proteins: Vietnamese pork sausage, lemongrass pork, ginger chicken and ginger tofu ($9-9.25).
The street food doesn't stop there. Also on the menu are yellow curries made with coconut milk, red bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, carrots and either chicken or tofu. Each bowl of curry is served with a sliced baguette for dipping ($9.75).
For a lighter option, Sandwich Hag's salads are tossed with a Vietnamese-style house dressing and topped with vegetables such as pickled radish and carrots, cucumbers and bean sprouts. Choices of protein include lemongrass pork, ginger chicken and ginger tofu ($10).
To share around the table, there's Sandwich Hag's spring rolls with a house-made peanut dipping sauce ($6) or a plate of raw carrots and cucumbers with an edamame hummus dip ($5).
Note that Sandwich Hag has walk-up and pick-up windows, and seating is outside only. The shop also only accepts credit and debt.
To fight back against the hot sun, order an iced Vietnamese coffee drink. The coffee starts with a blend of dark-roasted Cafe Du Monde coffee and chicory, then is splashed with condensed milk. Sandwich Hag also sells iced coconut Vietnamese coffee, which elevates the classic iced coffee drink with sweetened coconut milk. Other drinks include milk teas with boba pearls and fruit teas such as strawberry hibiscus with chia seeds and lychee lemongrass.
Chef and manager Reyna Duong decided to open the restaurant's first brick and mortar after a series of Dallas pop-up events and collaborations with shops such as Small Brewpub and Bishop Arts District's CocoAndre Chocolatier.
"I liked The Cedars District because we wanted a location where we could grow with the community, and we also wanted to help contribute to the area's image and culture," Duong says.
A mural by Dublin-based artist Katherine Rupit -- which carries themes of love, respect and unity, Duong says -- extends across one wall of Sandwich Hag.
Sandwich Hag, 1902 S. Lamar St., Dallas. 214-484-5971. sandwichhag.com.