Ken Forkish's local bread palace is known for a lot of things, from flaky-perfect croissants to the most toothsome, crusty baguettes in town. One thing it's been missing? Banh mi, the addictive little sub sandwiches of Vietnam. "So many sandwiches are served on bread that is little more than a physical platform," Forkish explained. "I [thought] we could do a kick-ass version of it...and I love the explosion of flavors—sweet, savory, spice, green, meat, crunch, zing!" Zing is right. The Ken's version ($8) is more of a happy Viet-French hybrid, smearing rough-chopped chicken-liver terrine amped up with Chinese five spice powder, a bit of fish sauce and Szechuan peppercorns atop a toasted baguette. Add wasabi mayo, crunchy sweet 'n' sour pickled carrot and daikon (of course), and a squirt of Sriracha and you've got a hot and spicy lunch that's a continent away from Ken's usual lunch fare.
Ken's Artisan Bakery, 338 NW 21st Ave., 248-2202. Sandwiches, soups and salads available 11 am-3 pm daily. Bakery hours 7 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday, 8 am-5 pm Sunday. $ Inexpensive.