About Roostar

Roostar, located on the grounds of the former Vietnam Poblano, creates custom banh mi (read: bun-me) sandwiches. Served alongside rice and noodles in a colorful environment, these authentic dishes capture the festive spirit of the Vietnamese street vendor scene. Visitors to Ho Chi Minh City get to dine while walking in a blur of blue scooters and brightly lit restaurants, and customers at Roostar get to live that same experience closer to the Spring Branch neighborhood of Houston. The banh mi sandwich is a delicious fusion of Vietnamese and French flavors that diners can have served alongside mouthwatering wings and specialty coffees. A visit to Roostar captures the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Vietnamese experience.

The Story

Ronnie Nguyen got his start in the restaurant industry–and learned success as a restaurateur means learning the intricacies of food preparation, dining experiences and smart operations. In 2009, Nguyen enrolled in the University of Houston’s Hotel and Restaurant Management program. He continued to work full-time while in school and sought inspiration in unique restaurant concepts and innovative entrepreneurs. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in 2012, and left the university with more than a diploma–inspiration, ideas, and vision for a banh mi restaurant.

In 2013, Nguyen with his business partner and fiance Linda, launched Roostar–it’s mission to bring fresh food, lively flavors and a cultural dining experience to Houston. Offering a unique twist on lunch and dinner options with Vietnamese, Mexican, and Korean influences, Roostar has earned a loyal customer following–and impressive accolades. In it’s second year, Roostar was featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2015 and won the 2015 People’s Choice Award during Houston’s The Great Banh Mi Cook-Off.


The Essence Of Banh Mi

The taste of Banh Mi is like Vietnam itself: bold and unique. This flavorful sandwich had to capture the attention of the busy motorbikers driving by on the crowded streets of Vietnamese cities. Designed to be quick, convenient, and easy to carry, banh mi never lost one important characteristic: flavor. These sandwiches were so delicious and so popular that Vietnamese cities saw the rise of tiny tables and chairs alongside busy streets, where customers could sit and enjoy banh mi while taking in the iconic sites of Vietnam.

The secret to a good banh mi sandwich is fresh ingredients that are free from trans fats. Inspired by the French Colonial period, when France occupied Vietnam, the banh mi began as a combination of locally found Vietnamese meats and vegetables stuffed into a French baguette. The resulting sandwich exploded in popularity. Since then, it has become the essence of the Vietnamese urban cuisine dining experience. Rooted in the simplicity and richness of the Vietnamese culture, banh mi continues to win new fans as demand for it spreads throughout the world.