New Southeast Asian quick-serve spot opens May 31st
By C.T. Liotta
The first thing you notice about Teas N’ Mi, 1907 East Passyunk Ave., is the sign – a bright red tongue between two baguette rolls that sandwich the company’s name. It’s bright and draws attention, and perfectly captures the light-hearted mood of a shop that offers drink items called Billie Jean is MATCHA lover and COCO? Is it tea you’re looking for?
The shop is the creation of Tuyen Tran and Diana Gov, two long-time Philadelphia residents who give food associated with their parents’ birthplaces – Vietnam and Cambodia – a Passyunk Avenue-twist.
“One day we were walking along Passyunk Ave. and wondered why there wasn’t a bubble tea shop around this area. So we decided, why not do bubble tea and banh mi?” said Tran. “This is our first venture together. Diana and I have both been in the restaurant industry and we both cook at home often, putting ideas together.”
For South Philadelphians who may be unfamiliar with banh mi, it’s a made-to-order Vietnamese cold-cut hoagie traditionally served in sandwich shops and food stalls. The most popular sandwich on the menu, named Teas N’ Me Specialty, is traditionally called banh mi thit nguoi. It features, “Cold cuts, pickled carrots, pate, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeno. The pork and pate are both fresh-made,” says Tran.
Tran’s signature invention, however, is an even more flavorful banh mi filled with chicken or beef slow-cooked in Vietnamese pho soup, served on Indian paratha bread. She calls it Phoratha.
For the vegan and vegetarian crowd, Tran serves a teriyaki tofu banh mi with tofu and scallions.
A wide variety of bubble tea, frozens, sparklers and teas round out the menu – including Viet iced coffee with condensed milk and sea salt foam. It’s on the menu as (what else?) Here’s my number… so COFFEE maybe?
Tran adds, “Our teas are brewed fresh everyday, no fructose, fruit flavors are made in house, no powders. We are going for quality vs. quantity on our menu, because we care about the flavors of our food and teas.”