You may recognize this one from our best-in-the-US sandwich roundup recently. But frankly, if someone had asked me to name a city where you could get a great banh mi sandwich, Cincinnati wouldn't come to mind first. This cold cut version at Pho Lang Thang just outside Findlay Market is pretty stellar.
'Cincinatti' on Serious Eats
Grilled cheese is now the official overplayed food trend of 2011 and for the most part, it's not been a good one. Why anyone would pay up to $9 for the world's simplest sandwich—one that nearly anybody can make twice as well at home for under a quarter of the cost—was utterly beyond me, and I had little reason to expect that Tom + Chee, the three-location mini chain in Cincinnati would be any different. Turns out that this is a grilled cheese concept that actually works.
The standard Cincinnati Coney is about four inches, only slightly bigger than the Troy NY Mini-Dogs but smaller than a Southern ten-pound hot dog, and covered with heavily spiced Cincinnati Chili. The Alligator ($1.59) starts with the same small pink hot dog, but it's covered in a massive pile of shredded neon yellow cheese, and instead of chili, a crisp pickle spear and plenty of mayonnaise. Sound weird? It was great.