Yet, another quick lunch with JW in downtown. I love seeing him in the middle of the day.
We went to the very popular Banh Mi Boys for a quick vietnamese sub lunch (I love my viet sub, especially those available at asian supermarkets)! Banh Mi Boys is famous for its fusion vietnamese sandwiches and we really wanted to see what kind of magic Banh Mi Boys has to offer! Arriving around 12:30, the restaurant was packed with people lining up to buy food. It took us awhile to find a seat, order the food and wait for them to be ready.
We ordered the Kimchi Fries. At first, I was a bit skeptical about how the Kimchi would go with fries, especially when neither of us really like Kimchi b/c of its taste and spiciness. However, I am surprised to say that they went together like peanut better and jam! I believe that the Kimchi was a modified version; hence, it was not crazy spicy with a reduced taste of the ordinary strong Kimchi flavour. When mixed with the mayo, it became a very creamy sauce with a hint of kimchi that went harmoniously with the fries! Love it! Also, the fries came with pulled pork which added another dimension of flavour. In our opinion, there were too much pulled pork and we could not finish all of them.
Next, we had the braised beef cheek steamed bao. The bun was really really soft, softer than the cha shu bao available at dim sum places. It felt really good at first, both in the hand and in the mouth. However, it was too soft that it quickly absorbed the sauce of the beef cheek and became very soggy. The bun was sort of unbearable when we were half way through… Nevertheless, the beef cheek was flavourful and tender.
A trip to Banh Mi boys is not completed without trying their Banh Mi! So We ordered their Five Spice Pork Belly Banh Mi. Unlike the vietnamese sub I always have where the bread is severed cold, Banh Mi Boys’ baguette was slightly toasted which I actually like more! The crispiness of the bun echoed with the crispiness of the picked carrots. Pickled carrots is one of the reason why I love viet sub so much and Banh Mi Boys did it just right. Moreover, they added japanese picked cucumber into their Banh Mi which was a good twist to traditional vietnamese sub. But I think it overpowered the pickled carrots. On the other hand, JW really liked the pork belly which was very tender because of their generous amount of fat.
Overall, I think I enjoy the Banh mi thap cam from Nguyen Huong a lot more. Mainly because of their crazy special mayo and liver paste that elevate an ordinary sandwich to a whole new level. Also, I really enjoy the combinations of different vietnamese sausages and ham in one little sandwich, compared to the choices available at Banh Mi Boys. It is such an luxurious experience for $2. It really captures our hearts. I am actually surprise to hear from JW that he enjoyes Nguyen Huong viet sub more too since he is not a big fan of any sort of sandwiches.
(image from Toronto.com)
For those of you who are not familiar with Nguyen Huong vietnamese sandwiches, they are available at basically every asian supermarket like T&T. Nguyen Huong bakery is also located in China Town in Toronto Downtown where vietnamese sub is freshly made and served upon your order, like subway. Keep in mind that the bakery is not nicely decorated, a little dirty and looked something like a supermarket. Yet, I highly recommend one to try their sandwiches! Visit their website at : http://www.nguyenhuong.ca/contact_us.htm.
Although this conclusion may surprise most of you, I believe that Nguyen Huong vietnamese sandwiches are actually better like I mentioned in this post. I might return to Banh Mi Boys for their kimchi fries but it will not be my first choice for vietnamese sub. However, Banh Mi Boys is still a great alternatives for those who normally have ordinary sandwiches for lunch in downtown!