Staff Writer Sophie Edelman speaks with Banh Mi and Roll+ restaurant owner Ken Vo (Hustler Multimedia/Elle Choi)
Staff Writer Sophie Edelman speaks with Banh Mi and Roll+ restaurant owner Ken Vo (Hustler Multimedia/Elle Choi)
Elle Choi

Roll on over to Banh Mi and Roll+ in Hillsboro Village

This fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant opens in Hillsboro is sure to fulfill your lunch cravings.

This past week, Banh Mi and Roll+, located in Hillsboro Village on 20th Ave., became a Commodore Card-friendly, Taste of Nashville addition after opening its doors to the Hillsboro community in Nov. 2020.

The brightly-painted Vietnamese eatery first began in 2016 as a food truck, Banh Mi and Roll Factory. Owner Ken Vo based the idea off his original brick-and-mortar Vietnamese restaurant, Far East Nashville. Although he loved running the mobile eatery, Vo said their loyal followers continued to ask for a permanent location specializing in the street food-esque favorites the truck offered, like Vietnamese sandwiches and spring rolls. 

“It has been really wonderful running around Nashville [in the truck], doing all of the big events,” Vo said. 

Upon opening their Hillsboro location, boba tea was added to their menu as well. Not only is the tea all homemade, but it’s exclusively crafted with natural products, something that Vo believes sets it apart from other Nashville boba options. 

Tiger Drink boba tea from Banh Mi and Roll+ was the perfect end to a savory meal (Hustler Multimedia/Elle Choi) (Elle Choi)

“We added the premium boba tea to our menu, and there are a couple [competing] boba shops around,” Vo said. “But I think what sets us apart is that the product we use. Everything is made in-house and fresh.”

Their food truck was made by locals, for locals—an energy that Vo strives to translate to their brick-and-mortar shop.

“What sets [Banh Mi and Roll+] apart is that we are local, all of the owners and co-founders are locally based in Nashville, I grew up here, my kids go to school around here,” Vo said. 

This gives Hillsboro residents and Nashville diners another option to support local businesses, something that is more important than ever in light of the impact COVID-19 has had on the restaurant industry. The cancellation of city events has paused the operation of the Bahn Mi and Roll Factory food truck, and to ensure the safety of his in-house staff, Vo said their physical establishment works hard to adhere to state and federal health guidelines.   

Banh Mi sandwich and fresh rolls with a side of peanut sauce (Hustler Multimedia/Elle Choi) (Elle Choi)

As for the food, we were more than satisfied. We tried the Saigonese Banh Mi, the Goi Cuon Fresh Rolls with shrimp and a Tiger Drink boba tea. The Banh Mi was rich with flavor without being too heavy. For those who may not know, Banh Mi is a French influenced Vietnamese sandwich that typically involves pickled vegetables, herbs and chillies, with a variety of protein options. Ours involved an array of pork, pâté and cold cuts. The vegetables cut the richness of the meats really well and the size was perfect to tackle alone or split between two. Banh Mi and Roll+ includes a huge variety of takes on the classic Banh Mi; I plan on going back to try their Pho-inspired sandwich. 

The fresh rolls (filled with lettuce, Vermicelli noodles, herbs and shrimp) were crunchy and delicious, but we definitely needed that side of peanut sauce for extra flavor. We were personally suggested the Tiger Drink boba tea, which is the restaurant’s take on a classic brown sugar milk tea. The beverage was sweet without being overwhelming, with warm, well-textured boba. If experimentation is your thing, their boba menu also includes a variety of quirky options with cream cheese milk foam, tapioca, grass jelly or mung beans.

The interior of the restaurant is casual, bright and spacious (Hustler Multimedia/Elle Choi) (Elle Choi)

All in all, Banh Mi and Roll+ is on its way to becoming a student staple on the Taste of Nashville card, complete with a great staff, casual ambience and an affordable price range. Be sure to check it out, especially if you are interested in supporting local Nashville ventures.

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About the Contributors
Sophie Edelman, Former Staff Writer
Sophie Edelman (‘24) is studying cognitive, child and educational studies in Peabody College. As the former Music Correspondent, she is passionate about expanding coverage of local musicians and performances. She loves fish tacos, thrifting and working at Vanderbilt’s Acorn School! She can be contacted at [email protected].
Elle Choi, Staff Photographer
Elle Choi ('24) is a student from Seoul, South Korea, double majoring in Human and Organizational Development and Computer Science. She currently serves as a Multimedia staff photographer on The Hustler. During her free time, she enjoys going to museums, watching YouTube vlogs and designing wireframes to improve or create new apps. She can be reached at [email protected].
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