Food

The Sandwich Hag Night Market food festival returns to Cedars on March 26 after a two-year hiatus

The Sandwich Hag Night Market food festival returns to Cedars on March 26 after a two-year hiatus

In a clear signal of a return to ‘Normal-ish Times’, the Vietnamese restaurant in Dallas Hag Sandwich will begin again with its triennial Night Market celebrations in the Cedars neighborhood of Dallas on March 26, 2022.

The first since the coronavirus pandemic canceled the same event two years ago, this night market will be a combined celebration of Lunar New Year and World Down Syndrome Day, observed on March 21.

For the most important part of any festival – the food – Sandwich Hag will serve its usual menu, along with a special bánh mì xíu mại, where savory pork meatballs in Vietnamese red sauce are dropped in the middle of a crispy and soft baguette from Quốc Boulangerie Bảo.

In addition to the Sandwich Hag menu which now includes beers and Vietnamese coffee, 11 food and drink pop-ups will be present, along with other art and retail vendors. Also, kiosks of Our Lady of Dallas School and My possibilitiestwo educational programs designed for students with intellectual disabilities, will be on hand to sell student artwork and other items.

Lunar New Year took place earlier this year on Feb. 1, but Sandwich Hag executive chef and founder Reyna “Reye” Duong says that as a Vietnamese woman, she celebrates Lunar New Year all year round. .

“Why can’t we? ” she asks. “Especially right now, we need more to celebrate as things are crashing and burning all around us. … It’s just a bit of happiness and gratitude to still be alive. It’s a little reminder that there is more good than bad.

Poster for Sandwich Hag Lunar New Year Night Market, by Color Snack
Poster for Sandwich Hag Lunar New Year Night Market, by Color Snack(Color Snack, Volta Voloshin-Smith)

Duong became known for her strict enforcement of safety protocols during the pandemic while operating a restaurant that employs her brother, Sang Duong, who has Down syndrome and is therefore at higher risk of complications from COVID. In the spring of 2021, she humorously turned a negative review of Google for being “weirdly weird about all of COVID-19” into one. T-shirt who sold.

“There’s a relationship of trust that I’ve built,” Duong said of his reputation. “Our community saw us safer than the majority, and I took it on the chin. I’m willing to walk away from a sale loss for the better good of protecting everyone. »

However, Duong now believes it is time to restore spaced out, sanitizer-filled celebrations as COVID-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths have declined. Masks won’t be required at the event, but they’re certainly encouraged for those at high risk, Duong says.

She will continue to enforce her “No A-holes rule” displayed on the restaurant’s order window as it is “the ultimate form of hospitality”. As she puts it, “An asshole ruins everyone’s mood.”

Leezen Amatya with Momo Shack Himalayan Dumplings serves dumpling.
Leezen Amatya with Momo Shack Himalayan Dumplings serves dumpling.(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)

Duong says she selected the 11 pop-ups because they align with her philosophy of mutual support and share her mission to elevate their legacies. Sellers are only required to cover city permit fees and promote each other’s businesses on social media and through word of mouth, which Duong calls a “pay it forward” rule.

As she is known within her community, “Chef Reye” says she has always approached business as “the community rather than the competition”. She frequently advertises other businesses, including restaurants, on her Instagram account. “There are enough customers for everyone,” she says.

“This group of chefs, vendors and retailers – they share the same frequency when it comes to supporting each other and are part of a hugely diverse community. It’s not just a bunch of white male leaders,” she says.

Along with a few other rules, like all pets must be on a leash, Duong advises attendees to bring their own Tupperware so they can “divide and conquer” their way through the pop-ups and back home. them with leftovers for the next day.

Vendors to look for include Momo Shack Himalayan Dumplings; Haute Pâtisserie Douceur; Thid Jai; Kessler Bakery Studio; a new modern Vietnamese pop-up called Bà Chằng; as well as Donny Sirisivath and Jimmy Niwa’s Darkoo’s Chicken Shack. Sirisivath will serve duck noodle soup, similar to the boat noodles once served at Khao Noodle Shop, and steamed Hainanese chicken rice at the event.

Plus, Modesto “Mo” Rodriguez of Modest Rogers brings his griddle to sear some carne asada, and Anna Swann of the delicious Ulam Modern Filipino Kitchen will whip up a bowl of pork belly sisig rice, as well as a vegetarian sisig. prepared with jackfruit and mushrooms.

We also know that Ka-Tip Thai Street Food will be serving pork skewers, and Jinny Cho of Frisco’s Detour Donuts will be branching out from his usual treats to serve Korean soup. Ka-Tip and Jettison’s George Kaiho will be there to whip up cocktails.

Although limited parking is available around the restaurant, Duong recommends carpooling, bicycling, and public transportation. The Cedars DART is a 10-minute walk from the restaurant, and a sidewalk and wheelchair ramp have been added to Sandwich Hag in the past two years.

All transactions will be cashless. The last rule Duong adds: “Bring your good energy. Be kind. Pay attention to each other.

The Lunar New Year Night Market will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 26, 2022 at Sandwich Hag, 1902 Botham Jean Blvd. Free entrance. sandwichhag.com.

Chef Sarah Ranola prepares sauces in a pop-up location in Hella Lumpia.