As someone who lives in a small town, I never expect to find many great restaurants. I usually feel forced to stick to just a couple of local favorites and then succumb to chains like Applebee’s or Olive Garden. Any time friends are looking for a place to go, I usually want to suggest just going to one of our homes to cook our own meals to share over our kitchen tables. However, one of my coworkers told us about a new place in town that her son had been raving about–Graze. I had never heard of it before, so when i Googled it, I was intrigued. The website describes the place as “where you’ll find the best sandwiches in town featuring house cured meats and the freshest ingredients.  The most affordable high quality sandwich shop food you will ever have.”

When I stepped into the restaurant, I thought the dining room was a little small, but I liked the clean, minimal decor. I could have easily been in a big city stepping into a hip, healthy little bistro. I ended up getting the banh mi, a traditional Vietnamese sandwich that I had not had in about 6 years. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be an Americanized disappointment.

When I got my meal, I noticed that the sandwich was on sliced bread rather than on a roll like typical banh mi sandwiches and became concerned that it wouldn’t meet my standards. However, I was pleasantly surprised.The flank steak was tender, and the picked daikon was super flavorful. I had to pull out a few of the fresh jalapenos, but that’s typical of me and banh mi! I wish there was more cilantro in the sandwich, but the fact that I got to eat kettle chips with a traditional Vietnamese sandwich definitely put a smile on my face!

I can’t wait to go back and sample some of the other offerings. It’s places like Graze that make it worthwhile to explore new restaurants and believe in small businesses.

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