Eating Adventures

Ba Le Sandwich: Take that, fusion haters

In A Federal Case, I'll be eating my way up Federal Boulevard -- south to north -- within Denver city limits. I'll be skipping the national chains and per-scoop Chinese joints, but otherwise I'll report from every vinyl booth, walk-up window and bar stool where food is served. Here's the report on this week's stop....

A banh mi is the ultimate argument to silence detractors of fusion cuisine: a paper-wrapped torpedo straight into the mouth of purist snobbery and closed-minded opinionating. Combining the foods of two different cultures doesn't have to be intellectual, fussy or ill-conceived. A simple combination of ingredients on hand -- the marriage of necessity and convenience -- can become something powerful, iconic and, most of all, ridiculously delicious. I ate banh mi from Ba Le Sandwich for three meals in a row on a recent weekend, not for the purposes of research or to adhere to some food-writer code of ethics, but because once those crusty baguette sandwiches entered my mind, I couldn't vanquish their presence until I'd chomped my way through the majority of Ba Le's menu and evangelized to anyone available with proffered bites and explanations of the alchemy encapsulated within. In short, I was feeding my banh mi obsession.

See also: - Hong Kong Barbecue: Finding comfort in unfamiliar flavors - Variety's not the spice at Pho 555 on Federal - Pho 96 keeps it warm and simple

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation