Virgin America's Banh Mi Sandwich: Airline Food Game Changer?

— by Caroline on Crack

Thanks to my bro’s purchase of the Wifi plan ($12.95) on the Virgin America flight to NYC, I’m able to blog from 34,992 feet in the air. Woo! Anyway, just had to write about the airlines’ banh mi sandwich which is part of its new fall menu. A chicken pesto handroll and veggies with chatpata chana and raita dip are also available to order.

The banh mi sandwich is $10 and comes with Asian-marinated sliced flat iron steak, shaved cucumbers, lettuce, baby frisee, cilantro and Vietnamese slaw of carrots, daikon radish, red onion and “a touch of jalapeno” served with sesame ginger dressing and an eeny piece of Toblerone chocolate.

First off, I was disappointed that the sandwich was cold, making the meat difficult to pull from the sandwich and not as savory as its heated counterparts tend to be. I ended up using the dressing to inject some flavor to the sandwich as there also wasn’t a hint of the jalapeno that was listed in the ingredients. The juice from the meat made the bread a little blood-red soggy, but I pushed past this unappealing texture because I was famished.

All in all a mediocre lunch with the highlight being the tiny Toblerone at the end. If this street-vendor-inspired sandwich was priced as it is and sold on terra firma, Yelp reviews would be scathing. But as it is, you’re stuck on a plane so what are you going to do?

But a definite gold star to Virgin America for offering something that might actually appeal to foodies just by description alone. Just unfortunate it wasn’t as good as it sounded like it was going to be. Thought this would be the game changer in airline food. Ah well.

This sandwich is only available on eastbound flights.