Restaurant Week 2019: Mi-Sant Banh-Mi Co.
When you walk into Mi-Sant, you can expect to be greeted warmly and immediately introduced to the detailed but easy to read menu. You may get distracted by the neatly aligned, fresh, house-made croissants with filling oozing out of the sides in the display glass. The intimate wooden seating area with simple yet elegant decorations and large windows gives the illusion of eating outside – which is not a substitute for the charming patio where you can enjoy your meal outside in either the sun or the shade on a beautiful day.
Mi-Sant Banh Mi Co. is a restaurant that tells a unique story. The Vietnamese cuisine is presented in a simple, straightforward style that introduces the food to the community without being overwhelming to a first-time visitor. The three co-owners, Linh Nguyen, her sister Kim Nguyen and her brother-in-law Quoc Le, were intentional about finding clever ways to communicate menu options to new patrons of Vietnamese cuisine. “When new customers come in a Vietnamese restaurant for the first time and aren’t familiar with the food or the language it can be a very overwhelming experience. So that’s something I want to minimize,” explained Linh. “That was one of my main goals and focuses here at Mi-Sant.”
Mi-Sant, which gets its name from its two specialties (banh mi, which is a Vietnamese sandwich baked on a crisp and flaky French baguette, and croissants), opened in Brooklyn Park in July of 2018. Linh, Kim and Quoc opened the restaurant to expand their culture to the community. “We love food, so we wanted to bring that to the community and express it in a creative way” Linh says. The Vietnamese fare is offered in three specialized styles – banh mi sandwiches, rice and noodle bowls, and spring rolls. All the bread and pastries are freshly baked in-house throughout the day, and the restaurant features the only drive-thru option for Vietnamese cuisine around the Twin Cities.
Linh, Kim and Quoc chose Brooklyn Park because of the location and the city’s diverse demographic, and the community has welcomed the restaurant. “We had such a big welcome,” Linh said. “It’s so heart-warming seeing other people appreciate your food and your culture and where you came from. It’s something truly special.” Located at 8540 Edinburgh Centre Drive, Mi-Sant is nestled in near a busy intersection at the heart of the city.
Mi-Sant tells its story with simplicity and elegance and is slowly raising the awareness of Vietnamese food around Brooklyn Park. So far, the story has been a success. As Linh says: “When I go out to the street and people know what a Banh Mi is and know what Mi-Sant is, that’s good enough for me.”
Article written by Sarah Abe