hoisin-glazed meatloaf. If you want to provide a non-meat option, try Emily's recipe for bánh mì with lemongrass tofu. • The vegetables: Pickled daikon radish and carrots are traditional bánh mì accompaniments, but my friends simplified things slightly by skipping the pickling part, just cutting carrots and cucumbers into long matchsticks. A big bowl of sesame-red cabbage slaw was a crunchy side, or another garnish to be piled onto the sandwiches. And don't forget the cilantro! • The condiments: Doctoring up store-bought mayonnaise is an easy way to add an extra layer of flavor to sandwiches. We had a roasted garlic version and a spicy Sriracha version, but there is a lot of room to play around with herbs, sauces and other flavorings to create a one-of-a-kind spread. The brunch also included spicy Bloody Marys and store-bought shrimp chips, which echoed the flavors of the bánh mì buffet. It was such a tasty and inventive party, memorable for more than the sandwiches, of course — but dang, those sandwiches were good.
• Get the shrimp recipe: Lemongrass Pickled Shrimp at Apples & OnionsDo you have any other ideas for sandwich buffets that go beyond the usual? Related: Smörgåstårta: 15 Savory Sandwich Cakes (Images: Beth Liebetrau; Apples & Onions)