A strange thing happened to me recently. I got a craving for Banh Mi.
What’s funny about this? Well, prior to this craving, I’d never had Banh Mi before. Weird, huh? I knew what they were – Vietnamese sandwiches, typically filled with pork and pickled veggies on a French roll – but I’d never had even a nibble.
This shows you the power of Banh Mi. Before I had even eaten one, the idea of it had manifested in my mind and I knew I had to have one. Inception.
I finally fulfilled my craving recently at Banh Mi Boys.
This Queen & Spadina cafe is wildly popular. We were lucky to grab a seat when we were there, but be prepared to either hover around like a schmuck, waiting for a seat, or wolf your food down on the street – it’s a very small space.
We ordered a grilled pork Banh Mi ($4.99), and a pork belly Banh Mi ($5.99). Food at Banh Mi Boys is cooked fresh to order, and along with sandwiches they offer Asian-inspired tacos, steamed bao, and sides like kimchi fries.
After a short wait, we ripped into our sandwiches. I was initially surprised at the size of them – they were quite substaintial, maybe eight inches long or so?
D and I took a bite of our respective sandwiches and that was it. We started at eachother, eyes widening, mouths busy chewing. This was one of those times when we used that special skill that all couples and BFFs have – eye talking.
Through a series of eye bulges, blinking, and squints, we conveyed to eachother how freaking AMAZING these sandwiches were. We couldn’t talk. We were busy eating.
The sandwiches were both packed with tender pork, tangy and slightly crunchy veggies, and a very light mayo. A sprinkle of corinader pushed them over the edge, and it was like my mouth was experiencing the best of every Asian dish and every sandwich I’d ever had.
The pork belly was tasty, but we both prefered the grilled pork. I was seriously impressed with the value of these sandwiches - if you compare it to, say, Subway (even though that’s insulting), Banh Mi Boys is way better value.
They also had awesome staying power – I didn’t get hungry again for hours – yet I didn’t feel all bogged down with bread.
Banh Mi Boys, you’ve made your way into my head successfully. I will be back!
Banh Mi Boys
392 Queen St West (Queen & Spadina)