Blackened Pork Belly Banh Mi from Bistro SouthEast on South Street West

Bistro South East opened quietly last month by a husband and wife team, serving Vietnamese influenced sandwiches for lunch every day and a seafood focused menu at night.  The name doesn’t do it any favors.  Unless you knew they served Vietnamese food, you might be confused why a restaurant on South Street West would pick that name. But now, we get it. Staff is super friendly and I liked the drawn guides to eating seafood on the wall (dinner menu includes crawfish by the pound).  

The entire lunch menu tempted me, that’s a good sign. I started with one of the few non- Viet snacks, the Korean rib eye buns, 2 for $8.95. The mantou buns were packed with nicely marinated slices of meat. This would make a good appetizer to share or a smaller lunch for one.

Sticking with the flavorful meat theme, the blackened slices of lemongrass pork belly in the banh mi ($7.95) should not be missed.  For this sizable sandwich, they use the bacon like cut of pork belly rather than the thicker pieces that require a long braise. My one critique was of the bread, I like my banh mi bread softer and crispier.

I think Bistro SouthEast adds to this part of the city, where exciting sandwiches are lacking. I hope the hospital staff provides enough business to allow this place to maintain daily lunch service.  I plan on coming back for the thai curry meatballs and their different wing varieties.

Bistro SouthEast, 1824 South Street, 267 758-2838


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