D.C.'s newest Vietnamese sandwich joint, BONMi, opened Monday at 900 19th St. NW. The operators will be giving away some 2,500 tickets for free lunches to be redeemed after opening week.
All the proteins are prepared sous-vide, but the proprietors didn't want to get too fancy with the menu.
"We really kept in mind, 'What is the American palate going to eat?'" said Lynne Jacoby, a partner in the company JBH Advisory Group that has conceptualized the new 40-seat eatery. "You know, we didn't do the pate, we didn't do the head cheese, which is more traditional of bánh mì."
The company is planning to open at least two more locations in the D.C. area before possibly expanding elsewhere. "We definitely want it to be a franchise model," she said.
The District is an ideal launching pad for the concept, Jacoby said. "We did a lot of demographic studies and, actually, D.C. is the best place for restaurants to open, believe it or not," she said. "Unemployment is very low here, it's a very eclectic group of people here, and there's a high concentration of educated people.... There's a lot of things that kind of drove us here."
Check out the menu here.