The char-grilled pork sandwich, or Banh Mi Thit Nuong, at the bare bones and usually bustling Thien An is especially notable. I hadn’t dropped by there in a while, so I made it a point to grab the sandwich from there for lunch today. The restaurant is more generous than most with the pork, which is nicely cooked, tender and richly flavorful. Tender slices are nestled in a local standard short Vietnamese baguette that is properly crusty and airy. The pork is joined by a light smear of house-made mayonnaise, shredded pickled carrots and daikon radish, a slice of cucumber, cilantro leaves and stems, and prominent wedges of jalapeño. The result is an enticing mix of textures and flavors – predominantly the moist and savory pork – that is satiating while remaining vibrant, not heavy. Even better with a few dashes of vinegar and squirts of sriracha from bottles on the table, it can be tough to eat just one of these. This is still one of the very best versions in the city. It’s gotten a bit pricey, though, now up to $3.99.
2611 San Jacinto (just south of McGowen), 77004, (713) 522-7007