There are a couple of pho places a little further north on Gessner, but the ethnic cuisines in this part of Spring Branch where Roostar is located are primarily Mexican and Korean. The addition of a Mexican accent of its initial name – the very odd Vietnam Polblano – was to provide additional incentive for customers who might not be familiar with banh mi. It also once had some Mexican-type items that have now been gone for a while and the focused menu largely consists of banh mi, mix-and-match combination plates, and spring rolls, eggrolls, and a soup on the side or to start. It’s strictly Vietnamese fare at Roostar – possibly with exception of the wings – that is quick, user-friendly and also very good.
The operation is slicker and friendlier than Houston’s first generation of banh mi specialists, if not quite as slick as Les Ba'get on Montrose. Roostar is maybe slightly more expensive than the typical banh mi spot – if, again, not as expensive as Les Ba'get – but it is certainly worth the price. An excellent sandwich featuring tasty pork belly and a bit pâté with the usual accompaniments tucked inside a fresh and crusty roll is still all of $4.75. The attractive and explanatory website gives a clue that the restaurant is more customer-focused and business savvy than most. Located in an older strip center in a setting that is utilitarian, it is nonetheless brighter and more inviting than the exterior might suggest.
Roostar is great find in Spring Branch, and even worth a bit a drive for a top-notch banh mi during lunchtime. These are some of the best Vietnamese sandwiches in Houston.
1411 Gessner (just north of Long Point), 77080, (832) 975-0808