- The Entree:
- The Side/Drinks:
- The Atmosphere:
Banh Mi Boys. Banh Mi Boys. Banh Mi Boys.
Being in the world of foodies means that you’re constantly hearing about a lot of great new restaurants and really great eats but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a foodie come up to me and say, “Oh my gosh. Have you been to Banh Mi Boys? It’s sooo yummy!”. Well after about half a year of waiting for those crowds to die down a bit, and much procrastination, I finally made the epic journey (a 15 minute walk from work) to this legendary sandwich place…
And a couple weeks later I went back again… and I’m thinking maybe I’ll drop by next week…
392 Queen Street West
Banh Mi Boyz is the ultimate sandwich fix, the best of many cultures. You’ve got the best “sandwich” bases – banh mi (vietnamese baguette sandwich), baos (sweet Chinese steamed buns), and the taco (Mexican awesomeness), mixed and matched with the best fillings from other cultures such as kalbi (Korean), 5 spice pork belly (Chinese), duck confit (French), pulled pork (American), lemongrass tofu (Chinese/Vietnamese) and many more. Entrees are between $4.99 and $7.49.
Oh, did I mention there are salads and tasty options for our vegetarian friends?
Oh and the drinks fridge is chock full of staple sodas plus plenty of Asian canned drinks. YUM.
The result of all this is a fail-safe sandwich shop filled with delicious stuff that everyone already knows and loves… except the kim chi fries (what’s that you say?)… and we’ll get to that shortly.
You can check out their full menu here: http://www.banhmiboys.com/menu.htm
The first time I dropped by the shop, it was during lunch time, about noon. The place was PACKED and the line was halfway to the door but the staff worked quickly and I got my order in about 15 minutes.
The second time I dropped by the shop it was around 6pm on a Friday night. There was barely a line and plenty of seating to boot. Awesome. I think I prefer the more quiet experience.
The place is nicely decorated and kept very clean. The decor was clean, modern, trendy, and kept the same colour theme as their sign – black, white, red.
Now on to the food. At this point I’ve tried 3 of the most popular items on their menu – the 5 spice pork belly banh mi, the kalbi beef banh mi, and the kim chi fries. Next time, I’ll go back for the taco and the baos.
The 5 spice pork belly banh mi was my favourite of the two sandwiches. First off, when you bite into the bread, the bread doesn’t overpower the filling, it just gently melts in your mouth. Good choice in bread… warm, soft, moist. The 5 spice pork itself is salty but tender. Beside it is the mayo, pickled radish and carrots, cilantro, cucumber, hot sauce and hoisin sauce. Great combination. You can also tell that these items were all prepared with care.
The kalbi beef banh mi was sweeter than the 5 spice pork belly. The fatty, tender, grilled beef was just melt in your mouth goodness. The salty, sweet, tangy flavours, when combined together like this, create quite a unique experience in your mouth. This was my boyfriend’s favourite.
And now on to this magnificent beast. What is this thing?! A poutine? Wait, is that kim chi on top?! First glance at this monster usually creates cocked eye brows and curious smiles…but once I tasted it, my goodness, all the doubt disappeared. This concoction consists of a base of a skinnier version of New York Fries style fries, sweet and tender pulled pork, a good dose of mayo, a sprinkling of green onion and a good hunk of kim chi. WOW. I love it… and to be quite frank, I don’t even usually like kim chi. The flavours just worked. Definitely going back for more… and will try not to think about the sodium and fat overdrive…
For our dinner meal, my boyfriend and I ordered 2 banh mis, 1 kimchi fries and 2 sodas and as much as we hate to waste food, we really couldn’t finish it. I think next time, we’ll split 1 banh mi and the kim chi fries.
We’re going back soon and I can’t wait to try the taco, boas, and salads.
Would I recommend this place? Yes. To me, this place has indeed lived up its reputation. I love the concept of this place and the fact that they’re taking the best of so many cultures to create something we’re familiar, but not too familiar with, is fantastic. Service is fast and the place is clean. Lunch service is pretty quick but I much prefer the quieter dinner service. At the end of the day, these are not the healthiest dinner options, but is definitely a great place for a yummy treat!
The Damage: About $23 after tax