Brooklyn Park’s Mi-Sant is Fast Casual Vietnamese Deliciousness
When people think of fast casual dining, restaurants such as Chipotle and Panera come to mind. But in Brooklyn Park, you can find one of the Twin Cities’ few fast casual Vietnamese restaurants: Mi-Sant.
“Its different, it’s bright, clean, local, awesome,” said Casey Nelson, a customer from Brooklyn Park. “And I think they’re really sweet every time I come in.”
In the restaurant industry, praise is something that has to be earned, and in just three years, Mi-Sant has accumulated quite the devoted following.
“The flavor is No. 1,” said Tim DeRusha, a customer from Ham Lake. “Flavor is A-plus here.”
“I moved here about a year and a half ago and this has been a weekly stop for me,” Nelson added.
It’s a weekly stop for her because of the delicious variety of food on the menu.
If you’re a fan of pastries, they have a dozen flavors of croissants.
“We make everything in house, fresh,” said Linh Nguyen, the co-owner.
They also have a wide variety of drinks, like the bubble tea.
But their signature item is the banh mi sandwich, an iconic food in Vietnamese culture.
“You get your savory, your sweet, your sourness and it just makes such a great combination,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen is one of the owners of Mi-Sant (the name combines the words “banh mi” with “croissant”). She wanted to open a restaurant that would introduce Vietnamese food to people in a non-intimidating way.
“So if you look at our menu, it’s a lot smaller than a traditional Vietnamese restaurant where there’s a hundred items and you don’t particularly know what all the ingredients are,” she said.
It’s a decision that’s paid off, as they now have a loyal customer base with a desire to satisfy their Vietnamese food craving, without having to wait a long time for their order to be prepared.
Overcoming pandemic challenges
“When we took over the KFC they had a drive-through and we were like, that’s great because it fits perfectly with our fast casual model,” Nguyen said.
The drive-through also helped them weather the pandemic storm when indoor dining was banned.
Although now, their biggest challenge is supply chain issues. Nguyen says many of their ingredients come directly from Asia, and items they ordered six months ago haven’t arrived yet.
“I think that’s the biggest fear right now,” Nguyen said. “We are trying to stock up as much as we can.”
It remains to be seen what sort of impact that will have long term. For now, the focus is on providing the best food, and the best service, as they can.
“Quick in and out,” said DeRusha, the customer from Ham Lake. “They’re really fast with their service. Great restaurant.”
In May, Mi-Sant also opened a second location in Roseville, taking over a former Bakers Square.