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Vietnamese restaurant opens in Callicoon

By Isabel Braverman
June 4, 2014

CALLICOON, NY — Sullivan County’s first Vietnamese restaurant celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting on May 29 at 26 Upper Main St. Bà & Mẹ will serve homemade Vietnamese bánh mi sandwiches, vermicelli bowls, rice bowls, summer rolls and more. Whenever possible, the small, seasonal menu includes the freshest ingredients from local farms and purveyors. Bà & Mẹ offers meats that are locally or naturally raised and free of antibiotics and hormones. Additionally, most of the restaurant’s food packaging is eco-friendly, incorporating compostable, biodegradable and recyclable materials.

Owner Nhi Nguyen and her family moved to Sullivan County from New York City after their home was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. Nguyen works in online marketing and has never owned a restaurant, although she did work at one that her parents owned. The name was chosen for its play on the classic bánh mì sandwich and the words for grandmother (bà) and mother (me).

Nguyen said she opened the restaurant because “I wanted to do something for the community, and this is my way of giving back.” She said Vietnamese food is not like any other Asian food. Many of the dishes include grilled meat complemented by fresh ingredients.

Cathy Paty, president of the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, said she is excited for Nguyen and that Bà & Me is “a total treat” and a “neat niche that no one in this county has had.”

The hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/baandme.