Shing Wang Sells the Real Banh Mi

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When Christine Kelly first opened the doors of North Miami Beach's Shing Wang in April, 2008, it was an all-vegetarian Chinese restaurant -- that also specialized (and still does) in Taiwanese shaved ice and bubble tea. The mock-meat soy-wheat gluten substitutions for chicken, beef, pork, and shrimp, when paired with choice of preparation (black bean sauce; pepper steak; etc.), are really tasty.

But economic circumstances led to Shing Wang slinging meat-based items in September of 2009. And a few months ago, as Christine explains, the restaurant on NE 167th Street started up "the most extensive banh mi menu in South Florida." The sandwich is made with "a variety of Vietnamese deli meats, pâté, homemade mayo, pickled juienne carrots, daikon, cucumbers, and cilantro, served in a toasted Vietnamese baguette. As far as we know, we are the only ones with the real Vietnamese French breads that are 8 to 9 inches long."

The Vietnamese baguette, she goes on to say, "is truly in a league of its own. On the outside it is light and crispy, while on the inside it is warm and soft. It is the true essence of the banh mi."

Shing Wang serves more than 15 types of the sandwich, running $3.50 to $6, including vegetarian and vegan options. That's right: a vegan banh mi.

Ms. Kelly also informs that the menu has grown to encompass authentic Taiwanese items such as Taiwanese glutinous meatball, and braised pork stew. "These are very popular dishes in Taiwan, not to mention delicious!" Steamed Chinese buns (pork, chicken, vegetable) "along with a few Japanese and Vietnamese items" are also now on tap.

Shing Wang is a little gem that often gets overlooked ("fresh, flavorful, healthful Chinese food at an excellent price" I crowed back in May, 2008). I'll be heading up to 167th real soon to check out these new items.

Shing Wang
237 NE 167th St., North Miami Beach

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