Roostar Vietnamese Grill f/k/a Vietnam Poblano

Stopped in for a Banh Mi after hearing lots about this hole in the wall Spring Branch eatery. “Stopped in” makes it sound easy, but getting into Roostar Vietnamese Grill is actually a challenge. It’s the end cap on a small strip center with a smaller parking lot that it shares with a restaurant just called Korean BBQ and a busy Michoacana grocer. I hung out a bit and was lucky to get a spot recently vacated. Road construction on the span of Gessner fronting the strip center does not help.

The tiny restaurant is set up like Subway, sort of. It was packed at the lunch hour and workers spilled out onto the sidewalk tucking into rice dishes, chicken wings and banh mi.

I ordered the grilled pork banh mi to go and it was stuffed:

The meat was flavorful and tender, I liked the garlic aoli - I guess there was no fish sauce you might commonly find. I can only compare it to Les Givral’s on Washington and it is way more stuffed. Everything is made in the store, which I guess includes the french bread. Whoever bakes it, it is very good. Walk out price is $4.87

I’ll go back for the wings that are so popular.

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I remember reading about this place somewhere recently - the Press?, Gastronaut? Looks good but the roll looks soft. Was it? Maybe just the picture.

It had a satisfying toughness, not too much. Not shattery though. I quite liked it.

I believe the Houston Press called it the best banh mi in the city at some point.


The wifeacita was in on the ground floor before the explosion going when it had the old name. She gets an extra sandwich for work, plus likes the shrimp spring roll and the beef soup.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo