Food Truck Profile: Nammi
The Nammi formula that began serving the major DFW metroplex area in 2011 was based on a simple equation:
(2 starving architects with passions for good food x empty wallets) + 1 beat down truck = great idea! Their Mission, to make banh mi for everyone to enjoy!
The Nammi Truck is a Vietnamese Fusion Truck serving up banh mi, Vietnamese tacos and much more to the DFW metroplex. They are not trying to re-invent banh mi or Vietnamese Cuisine but want to share their take on this Vietnamese classic.
Teena Nguyen recalled the story of how the truck started where her brother, who runs a construction catering company, had an extra truck – but it was old, nearly rusted through, and needed a huge amount of work. “I told him I was thinking of a little side project I wanted to do with it,” she said. “But you can’t do something like this just as a side project.”
It would seem it wasn’t really something that could be run on the side. Nguyen and Nammi Food Truck co-owner Gary Torres have spent four months on their now-renovated food truck, routinely logging 18-hour days in the 100-degree heat while traveling through the city serving up their hot, fresh and filling sandwich – the Banh Mi (Bánh Mì).
The banh mi, whose history Ngyuen and Torres have summarized on the side of their truck is a sandwich whose heritage could accurately be described as half Vietnamese and half French. The sandwich fits a culture accustomed to hot weather, be it Vietnam or Dallas. There are plenty of different kinds of banh mi, and even more opinions on how they should taste. What’s important to Nammi, though, is that they make them all taste good.
“Really, it’s supposed to taste different to everyone. A lot of people focus on the bread, so their first reaction is ‘how’s the bread?’ They could care less about what’s inside. Then some other people are like ‘No, it’s all about the meat, and the bread is just what holds it,’” says Nguyen. “It tastes different to everyone, and that’s what I love about banh mi – that it’s so different, unique and versatile.”
Nguyen and Torres got the right idea by rolling with an easy menu of Vietnamese classics. You are able to choose from bánh mì, rice bowls or tacos. Torres, who has been making sandwiches since he was little, said the truck will customize every order to a customer’s liking.
To do this they offer customized sandwiches with grilled pork, barbecue pork, lemongrass beef, lemongrass chicken or tofu. Once your protein is selected they also offer fresh toppings, like cilantro, sweet pickled carrots, daikon radish, crunchy cucumbers and jalapeños.
Regardless of your choice, portions are quite substantial. And finally, don’t forget to wash everything down with their cool mint lemonade.
The Nammi team ran into a few potholes when they first began, “When we first came out, there would be days where it seemed like no one would come, and we’d just be wondering ‘are we doing the right thing?’ We’d pull up to a location, and it would just be crickets,” says Nguyen. “But it gets better and better every week. The word of mouth has really, more than anything else, been the biggest thing for us. It’s really been amazing.”
The Nammi food truck can be found in Dallas/Fort Worth and their surrounding neighborhoods throughout the week.
Updates are posted on http://nammitruck.com/, Twitter, and Facebook. The food truck is also available for private events, weddings and delivery lunch orders, which means one way or another; you’ll get your Nammi.
The bánh mì is the best Nammi has to offer. It’s a little pricier than other bánh mì you may have seen at restaurants, but if you want the good stuff, you have to shell out some cash.
What their fans have said:
One delightful treat is their basil mint lemonade. SO refreshing! Don’t let the ingredients scare you… especially in the heat of summer, it is great to have one of these while you’re waiting for them to make your sandwich. It is worth a couple extra bucks and goes really well with the banh mi. Krystle S. – Dallas, TX