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Banh Si Food Truck To Partner With The Half In New Cargo District Venture

By Meghan Corbett, posted Feb 21, 2024
Wilmington food truck Banh Si and sandwich shop The Half are partnering to bring a new brick-and-mortar venture to the Cargo District this year. (Photo courtesy of Bahn Si)
With an opening planned later this year, a new joint venture between Wilmington food truck Banh Sai and sandwich shop The Half is sure to be a hotspot for locals and tourists alike. 

Banh Sai owner Austin Belt said the decision to partner with The Half was a no-brainer. 

“It all started years ago when we were living in Charleston, South Carolina,” Belt said. “I was working in the kitchen at Edmund's Oast when I met one of the brewers named Carl (one of the owners of The Half). We got along really well as work friends and shared the same love for food and beverage. We reconnected when my wife and I moved to Wilmington and, when The Half opened their doors, we frequented it on a weekly basis because of the delicious food, great beer selections and overall atmosphere of the restaurant.”

“Since we were there so often, we got to know Andrew, Dean and Charles (also owners of The Half) really well and developed a great relationship; we even did some collaborations together. We knew when we started the food truck that we wanted it to be a stepping stone to get a brick-and-mortar. As we started to make moves towards that goal, there was no question that we wanted them to be a part of it. We feel extremely blessed to be working with some great people.”

The Banh Sai food truck combines a street food feel with the unique flavors of Asian-inspired dishes along with an 80s and 90s flare for nostalgia. “The culture, the music, the movies, it was such a time to be alive,” Belt said. “Our passion lies in exploring bold flavors that push the boundaries of your palate, all while integrating them seamlessly into classic dishes.”

The new menu for the brick-and-mortar location will continue the theme of unique flavors sure to please the whole family. 

“Egg rolls, cobra fries, rice bowls, burritos as well as a rotating Katsu sandwich will be featured on the menu,” Belt said. “We are also excited to offer other fun specials as well. We are over the moon on how we have been received these past few years. We have enjoyed creating our spin on classic dishes and love that everyone is on this adventure with us … Ultimately, it is our passion to bring happiness into people's lives through food and beverage.”

Located in the Cargo District, the new partnership will cater to a central market.

“We love that it is a local small business community with a variety of talent from retail to food,” Belt said. “This side of the Cargo District we know will have continued expansion, and we're excited to be a part of that. The casual neighborhood space felt like it could evolve with us. We intend to open inside and get comfortable before we create an outdoor space for our customers to enjoy hanging out after a hard day's work or a quick bite on your lunch break. We wanted it to be inviting to the Wilmingtonian lifestyle.”

This new venture is a whole new world for Belt and his team, but he has enjoyed the creative outlet it has established. 

“Great things take time, and this is our first experience creating a space on this level. The entire space was a blank canvas which is wonderful but required attention to address the things we need to produce the dishes we are now known for,” Belt said. 

“We have an excellent team in place that we are very confident in handling the various pop-ups and are keeping our goals set but adjusting as needed. Our social media will have teasers and information as we finalize these details. We intend on giving a farewell event to bid our wonderful food truck goodbye. Bonnie (our truck's nickname) has treated us very well for three years and opened the doors to our dream shortly thereafter.”

The new restaurant is expected to open this spring or summer.

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