Say hello to yumMi Banh Mi

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October 10, 2011 // UPDATED 2:13 pm - October 19, 2011
By: Jeremy Zoss
Jeremy Zoss

It may feel like winter outside, but new street food vendors are still popping up in downtown. Vietnamese sandwich truck yumMi Banh Mi first appeared at 11th and Nicollet on Oct. 13, and owners James Schanen and Hoa Nguyen said business has been good, despite the dropping temperatures  

“It’s been steady, considering the weather,” said Schanen. “We want to get sponsored by North Face. Then we’ll just go all winter long.”

Schanen and Nguyen decided to start a street food business together when Schanen took a voluntary severance package from his previous employer and Nguyen finished her culinary education at the Arts Institute on Hennepin Ave. The duo originally planned to hit the streets in late August, but the delays gave them time to develop their business plan and get advice from other street food vendors. They are considering moving into downtown delivery should the cold push their customers off the streets.

The menu of banh mi sandwiches is simple and clear, offering up beef, pork, chicken and tofu sandwiches under cute names like “moo mi” and “oink me.” The beef sandwich we sampled was hot and tasty, with nice crisp vegetables and nice, chewy bread. Because the food is prepared beforehand at a prep kitchen, the sandwiches can be assembled quickly, a fact that might make customers brave the weather for as long as yumMi Banh Mi stays on the streets.