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Pickle Banh Mi—the tiny-but-mighty bánh mì joint that has brought Long Beach the Vietnamese staple lathered in its purest, most traditional form—is a story of Vietnamese women (and their family members) owning both their food and their entrepreneurial power.

And with their first location beyond the Orange Curtain having opened in Long Beach in the summer of 2023, those women, especially daughter/son and niece/nephew to the matriarchs, sister and brother team My and Sean Nguyen—the latter of whom is the general manager at the Long Beach location—are ready to let Pickle Banh Mi have its Long Beach shining moment.

“You will be greeted by Sean and the team when you walk in,” My said happily. “There’s no question we pride ourselves in flavor and service—and that stems from our family.”

But the power of those women behind the growing brand is, of course, not noticeable at first sight.

Instead, wafts of fresh, house made baguettes drift through the air and massive screens showcase a seemingly endless amount of bánh mì options: From the traditional—like bánh mì đặc biệt, the cold cut bánh mì that has defined the sandwich since its origins, or the bánh mì bò nướng sả, a lemongrass beef that has subtleties of sweetness amid its savory and herbal qualities—to the witty and fun—like a play with Peruvian lomo saltado for one or the use of chả cá thăng long, the famed turmeric-dill fish dish, for another.

Photos and written by Brian Addison

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