Rotisseur Wins at Banh Mi

When Rotisseur opened for lunch this summer, I wondered if it would fall under the ML under $10 budget. The claims of “cage-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free” chicken and sides made me skeptical it might not. Then I found out that the entire menu, unless I was craving a whole chicken for lunch, would be ML affordable.

On my trip there, I admired the way the small space was decorated with just the right ratio of modern to homeyness. The counter of magazines and newspapers to read while you wait was a nice touch, though I preferred people watching at the big window facing 21st Street.

There are about a million banh mis out there these days, some authentic, some far from it. I might just have to risk losing all my street cred in proclaiming that Rotisseur’s trendy, photogenic,completely-devoid-of-that-Vietnamese-counter-sketchiness version of the banh mi might be my favorite of all time. It wasn’t the mildly pickled cucumber, the bright pink picked cabbage,  the sprinkling of cilantro, or the clean pieces of that Lancaster white chicken meat that won me over, though I enjoyed each of those high quality components. It was the addition of the thin piece of crispy chicken skin that had me swooning. It wasn’t covered in a gross layer of fat and it wasn’t too crispy to bit in to like pig skin can be. Just like when Ben Franklin added a key to his kite, the addition of this skin is shockingly good. Even crazier is the fact that this skin is not fried. The sandwich costs $6.

My side of mac and cheese was insanely cheesey, and it was the good kind of cheese, I just wish it would have been warmer.

Other lunch options include combos of rotisserie chicken meat and super fresh sides, like the  baked kale or succotash.  I wish I knew how to bake kale like that, mine always comes out brown, too dry, and yet still not completely crispy.

From their rotating pickle selection, I was introduced to the first piece of okra I actually liked.

To end with a touch of sweet, mini cornbreads are just as cute and moist a cupcake.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Healthy, cruelty free, local food
  • Crazy awesome banh mis made more awesome with chicken skin

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I am sick of banh mi bastardizations

Rotiseur, 100 South 21st St (btw Sansom and Chestnut St), 215 496 9494



  • This one might get me back on the Banh Mi bandwagon after that poor showing at QT.

  • thad, I give you my word you will love it

  • Their succotash is the bomb, as is their orzo watermelon salad. Their actual chicken, alas, leaves me somewhat underwhelmed.

  • Jamie, I believe it. It’s gonna happen. Soon.

  • After reading this post last week, I went over there during lunch on Friday & got the Banh Mi and Mac & Cheese. I think I got the reverse from your experience – Bahn Mi was already pre-packed; no delicious crispy skin, but still tasty. The Mac & Cheese was straight out of the oven – hot, delicious, cheesy heaven!

    I checked in on Foursquare once I sat down and got my food, only to realize I could have gotten 10% off plus mini cornbreads if I had shown my check-in to the cashier. (I really should learn to check in first.) So, heads up for anyone who is going over there! I can’t wait to try their kale chips next time.

  • @dee I had dinner there the other day and the mac and cheese was hot and out of the oven like you said- awesome! My friend ordered the banh mi and it was exactly like how mine was the first time, plus we were snuck pieces of fried chicken skin while we were waiting. And I got a free soda for checking in on yelp, but free minicornbread is even better.

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