It’s a little place, and the exterior doesn’t give much of a hint of the inside. It is actually a cute little place (not fancy at all, but not divey either). The guy who was working behind the counter (and waiting on me) could not have been more polite and accommodating.
The menu is actually pretty extensive, and honestly, a lot of the stuff looks really good (pho and other noodle dishes as well as stir fry plates and some interesting sounding rice flour crepes, which I love.) They also have lots of drinks and smoothies. I was on a quest to try the bánh mì though, so that’s what I ordered. There are lots of flavor options here as well (various forms of pork as well as chicken and even sardine) and it was kind of hard to decide. I decided to go with a pork roll and pork belly version ($3.75). I also ordered some fried shrimp and pork egg rolls ($3.50).
The egg rolls came out first and they were quite tasty. They are smallish and wrapped in rice paper before they are fried making them really crunchy. I found them to be filled mainly with pork, and tasted less shrimp, but they were pretty addicting. They came with nice fresh pieces of romaine lettuce that I wrapped around them and dipped the whole lot into the accompanying sauce (slightly sweet, fish sauce-based sauce).
The bánh mì was definitely the star though. And of all the ingredients, the bread was amazing. It was so soft, yet the crust so flakey that just biting into it covered the general region with bread crumb snow. The sandwich had a smear of liver pâté, and then the pork roll (sort of like a sliced ham in texture) and thin slices of pork belly and was topped with fairly large spears of cucumber and the lightly pickled strings of radish and carrot and a bit of cilantro. The whole sandwich had a smear of mayo as well. It was really very good. I loved the smear of the pâté on one side of the bread so that you got that salty, earthy taste in each bite. The cucumbers were a little big for me and seemed to dominate the flavors of the other veggie toppings, so I just took most of them out. I loved the light acidic flavor of the julienned carrots and radish. And for the price, you can’t really beat it. And that bread…that bread is great (he told me they get it from Chicago).
For fun, I also ordered a salted limeade just because it sounded like something I might like. I was imagining a tart and slightly salty taste, but the limeade was very sweet. I didn’t really care for it because it was so sweet, but I did like the slightly salty edge to it, which made it interesting.
The whole experience was a pleasant one. The people working there were very nice, the food was very good, and the prices are right. I look forward to trying it again soon and getting some other menu items. If you have suggestions, please let me know! (Just an FYI, they are closed on Mondays.)
3738 Lafayette Road