Taco Bell parent company Yum! Brands launched a new Asian sandwich chain on Friday.
Called Banh Shop, the new restaurant concept features a variety of banh mi sandwiches and bowls, noodle salad and sides like “Saigon ‘Street Stall’ Corn” with coconut milk, butter, red pepper, and cheese.
The first location opened Friday in Dallas and a second location will open at the Dallas-Fort Worth International airport in September.
The company provided us with some photos of the new restaurant and menu items.
Here’s the first location, which is in the Dallas neighbourhood of Park Cities:
The concept was created in collaboration with restaurant developer Mark H. Brezinski.
“With Southeast Asian cuisine growing in popularity in the U.S., we saw an opportunity to design a unique fast casual concept that emulates delicious Saigon street food, with a focus on the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich,” Christophe Poirier, head of Banh Shop, said in a release.
The menu includes a Grilled Steak Banh Mi Sandwich (below) with marinated sirloin steak, sliced and char-grilled with honey-caramel glaze and cucumber-cilantro aioli.
This Grilled Chicken Meatball sandwich features char-grilled minced chicken with red onion, scallion, and bean thread noodles, topped with honey-garlic aioli.
The menu also features a Vietnamese Noodle Salad with vermicelli rice noodles, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, basil, mint, cilantro, peanuts, red onion and bean sprouts tossed in a Vietnamese vinaigrette.
Here’s the Grilled Pork Meatball Banh Mi Sandwich with minced pork, Vietnamese caramel glaze, scallions and cucumber-cilantro aioli.
Yum!, which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut, recently opened another new chain called U.S. Taco Co. in California .
It has also launched a test restaurant called Super Chix in Arlington, Tex., which sells chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches. The menu is similar to Chick-fil-A’s.
The company is experimenting with new restaurant concepts as customer traffic has been steadily declining at fast food restaurants.
Guest counts at fast food vendors were flat last year compared to a year earlier, while fast casual chains — such as Chipotle and Panera — saw 8% average growth in traffic, according to The NPD Group.
Fast casual restaurants are typically more expensive than fast food and customers perceive them to have higher quality ingredients.
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