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OUT TO EAT / Great dishes, drinks and people

Bahn mi, her way

Jill Forster has been offering a carefully curated selection of fine cheese from around the world at her gourmet food shop, Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile (423 Elmwood Ave., 882-3068). But local food standouts are there, too: crusty loaves from East Aurora's Elm Street Bakery, and COPPA charcuterie from Bruce Wieszala (who's opening his own shop next door soon).

There's eats, too -- a macaroni-and-cheese of the day, and a rotating cast of sandwiches. Not any random sandwiches, either. Forster's version of banh mi ($8.99), the classic Vietnamese sub, is there because Forster couldn't find one she liked after enjoying the sandwiches from coast to coast.

Hers comes on LaBrea baguette, shipped frozen and baked fresh. It packs French pate, smoked ham, plus pickled carrots, cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, scallion and a swipe of Sriracha mayonnaise.

"Every time I have a banh mi, it's 'It could be so much better if they used a good quality pate,' or 'If they used a good quality ham ...' " said Forster. "Now I've made it how I've always wanted it."

-- Andrew Z. Galarneau