Gourmet sandwiches are one of the latest trends in the D.C. dining scene, and lots of chefs have been bringing their A game in sandwich making. Doi Moi, known for its Southeast Asian fare on 14th Street, is joining the trend by introducing a new lunch time menu (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only) of banh mi style sandwiches at their pop-up, Bird’s Eye Sandwiches.
With it, the restaurants is offering a trio of salads, soups, and small snacks like spiced cashews and curry fries. The sandwiches can be turned into rice bowls if you are gluten-free (or prefer rice to bread). I went in for a taste and came out stuffed, happy and permanently committed to curry fries.
Even if you are in a rush and feel like you only have time for one sandwich, I highly recommend trying a soup or salad as well. The mango chili soup is served cold, and is super refreshing in this never-ending heat wave we have been having. It is topped with a fresh tomato salad, and has just a little bit of sweetness and a hint of heat. The green papaya salad is equally as refreshing, but has quite a bit more heat. The lime keeps it tart, but the chilies are in full force. My favorite salad was the stone fruit salad, the fruits are in season so they are bursting with freshness and flavor, and the shallots and tamarind bring an interesting sweet and sour element.
Once you’ve cooled off with your soup and/or salad, move on to one of the banh mi sandwiches. I ordered the vegetarian rice cake option, which comes with crispy, savory rice cakes served on a chewy bun, topped with sweet pickles, carrot, enoki mushrooms and mayo. It’s super hearty. You will not leave hungry after eating this dish. The rice cakes are awesome, really crunchy and flavorful and the herbs and carrots add some freshness.
Whichever sandwich you get, the curry fries are essential. I used to think shoestring fries were the best fries. Thanks to Chef Felikson, I have new favorite fry: the curry fry. Served with a creamy thai ranch, these fries are likely none other. The flavors of turmeric, cumin and coriander are fragrant and delicious, plus the cool ranch sauce offers the perfect contrast to the flavor of the fries.
A lemongrass punch is a great pairing for meal, and if you need more cooling off get some soft serve. No word on how long this pop-up will last so go grab a bahn mi and some fries before its over.