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Banh mi in Miami

I'd never heard this place existed until this article in the New Times. Apparently it's a Vietnamese sandwich/bubble tea shop. And here I'd been going to Pompano Beach for banh mi fixes.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/Issues/2...

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  1. Thank goodness. I was wondering when 167th St. was going to enter the 1990s. Shame it's a barebones takeout. I would think that area could support a modern teahouse/cafe.

    1. Someone needs to explain to me the appeal of bubble tea. I am an adventurous eater willing to try just about anything and find something redeeming about it, but I just don't get what is so appealing about this stuff. I have tried it several times, several flavors, and it just strikes me as a noxious, oversweetened snapple with mushy, gloopy, slightly bitter balls which seem to sit in your stomatch for hours afterward. The novelty of sucking them up through a big straw wears off pretty quickly. What am I missing?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Frodnesor

        I do prefer the tea and coffee-based ones over most of the powdered fruity things. And the sago balls aren't supposed to be mushy; they should be more chewy than anything else.

        Which doesn't mean the drink isn't insanely sweet and the balls don't necessarily sit in your stomach for hours, but that's what makes horse racing.

        Word.

      2. Have to agree that I've never been able to gather what makes people like any kind of drink with nasty, gelatinous balls sunk at the bottom. I also agree that the slushy fruity bases are too sweet and syrupy, but the coffee and tea concoctions aren't so bad. I'd just rather have them w/o the "bubbles". If I wanted to chew on bubbles, i'd just grab a wad of rubber bands.

        1. OK, chewy is probably more accurate than mushy, although "gloopy" I think may be closest.

          1. Is that awesome VIetnamese place still open on Calle Ocho across from Versailles...the name escapes me at the moment.

            1 Reply
            1. re: netmover

              If you mean Hy Vong, it is still open, still popular, and still beloved, but some of us find it more greasy than awesome. It is rarely patronized by anyone Vietnamese.

            2. That's true, I've never seen anyone Vietnamese there. But then again, I've never seen anyone vietnamese at Miss Saigon. Where do Vietnamese people in Dade County go for Vietnamese food?

              2 Replies
              1. re: lax2mia

                You have to go to ft lauderdale to Saigon City (thats where all the vietnamese ppl go including me) or hollywood at the farmer's market, they have a banh mi and boba shop inside

                1. re: Yum Mi

                  You can also go to the Blu Bambu located in Boca Raton at the Royal Palm Place.they served the best vietnamese subs on fresh baguettes

              2. Many of us who love food like Jim Leff living buried in the suburban netherworlds of Miami find the New Times critics in need of less glib cleverness and more curiosity. If for example, any of them went west on Flagler to sample the empanadas and pebre at Sabores Chilenos, they would never be the same. They think it's the same on the beach, but the clients are different. If authenticity is the question, they are clueless; New times readers are tourists and Anglos. Their expertise lies with "genuine" culinary knowledge. They could use a "hole in the wall critic" to ferret out all of Miami's excellent, atmosphere absent places.

                1. How recently has anyone been to Hy Vong? I went by a month or two ago and it looked closed. I was very sad but perhaps I was wrong. Don't know of many other places in Miami for good Vietnamese. There's Miss Saigon in the Gables, which is a good lunch but doesn't exactly have the ring of authenticity to me; there's also a hole in the wall place on the north side of 163rd St. right before I-95 where I had a decent pho.

                  1. Hy Vong is still open. They're closed at least 2 or 3 days a week now to focus on their prepared foods business (I think they sell to Gardners and Norman Brothers). Miss Saigon is good for lunch but their pho stinks. The place on 163rd scares me. Whenever I want pho it's either a hike to Saigon Deli in Pompano Beach or a weekend jaunt to Orlando. Great places there. Maybe that'll change if crach has some suggestions.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: lax2mia

                      Pho Tuang on SW 160th Street/Colonial Drive in Perrine just west of US1 is authentic and its customers are often Vietnamese. In the same strip mall is the Asia Market, and across the alley is Marie's Patties, a Trinidadian roti shop, and Sango with Jamaican and Chinese.

                      1. re: lax2mia

                        That place off NE 163rd, Saigon something-or-other is harmless; more just boring than bad. I've had prefectly reasonable bowls of bun there, refreshing but tasteless green papaya salad, and nondescript pho.

                        Saigon City, on the 4400 block of SR7 in Lauderhill, was pretty good when I was last there, but that was a year ago. I hate to mention chains, but the Pho Hoa a little north of that was pretty good the last couple of times. Neither was as good as Saigon Deli a few more miles up the road, though.

                      2. Pho Thang is the real deal. You get a whole plate of freshly picked herbs with the pho. Try the snail and lemongrass appetizer, served with larger than life shrimp chips. We like the crab meatball vermicelli noodle soup. I also get the noodles "dry" with the soup on the side. I never understood why it's freezing in there, but anyhow, bring a jacket.

                        1. BUMP! This NYT article started me on a hankering for banh mi.
                          http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/din...

                          Anyone know if I can get one without venturing north of the Dade/Broward county line?

                          L2M, that link is dead, can you recall what the place was?

                          www.foodforthoughtmiami.com

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Frodnesor

                            If it's a place in Dade it was probably one in NMB on 163rd. I went once walked in and walked out.

                            1. re: Frodnesor

                              I am opening up a Banh Mi and boba tea shop called Yum-Mi and will be offering 3 different types of banh mi to choose from. My grand opening will be October 3, 2010. Its located at the NEW Yellow Green Farmer's Market on Taft and I95. Please check out our facebook for more info at www.facebook.com/yummitaii. We look forward to feeding you guys!

                              1. re: Frodnesor

                                That article would make me wanna eat one

                              2. Shing Wang on 167th St in North Miami Beach now serves 20 different BANH MI. www.shingwangrestaurant.com The new owners renovated the place and is serving food that goes well with their extensive Boba/Bubble Tea. And they have the real Vietnamese - French bread, which kind of makes the sandwich good.

                                1. Good thread to revive. A few other newer Miami banh mi options -.

                                  - Miss Saigon South Beach. Same owners as ones in Coral Gables and down South, but a somewhat different menu with a few banh mi and more pho options that at the other locations. I had a good banh mi dac biet there, not a rice flour roll but otherwise pretty real deal.

                                  - Chowdown Grill (Surfside). Not called a banh mi on the menu but that's pretty much what it is, with braised beef, chicken or fish options and paté aioli subbing for the traditional paté / mystery meat. Again not an authentic roll, but quite tasty.

                                  - Norman's 180 (Coral Gables). On the lunch menu. Beyond the price range of your normal banh mi and more "gourmet," but I had a sample version at a preview event and it was delicious.

                                  - Michael's Genuine (Design District). Another gourmet version (and priced accordingly), you'll often find a banh mi (with house cured pork) on the lunch menu. I've not yet had the good fortune to try it.

                                  - gastroPod (mobile). Cross-cultural mashup, banh mi tacos with pulled pork and Viet style fixins are regularly on the menu.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Frodnesor

                                    Not exactly in Miami but Pho 78 in Pembroke Pines (NE corner of Pines Blvd and University Drive) does pho, bahn mi, bubble tea and other vietnamese specialties in a coffee shop type setting in a strip mall with cheap prices to match. Most of the time I am the only non-asian eating there. My father is in the veterans' nursing home less than a mile away and he likes to come here for the pho. Good asian/thai market a few doors down. Good, not great.

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                                    Pho 78 Restaurant
                                    7849 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

                                    1. re: ruthless2

                                      Pho 78 is indeed one of my favorites and the price is right too.

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                                      Pho 78 Restaurant
                                      7849 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

                                    2. re: Frodnesor

                                      Hi Thanks for this!
                                      -Miss Saigon is generally good but banh mi was not good. Bread was enormous French bread and bready, not to mention panini pressed?
                                      -Pho 78 is OK. Not great. Kind of small. The sandwich is supposed to be 8 inches.
                                      For me, the bread makes the sandwich. I don't think anyone else but Shing Wang has the real deal bread.

                                      1. re: edogee

                                        If you're all about the bread, then no, these places won't do it for you. I thought Pho 78's came closer than the others, which are standard French bread.

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                                        Pho 78 Restaurant
                                        7849 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

                                        1. re: Frodnesor

                                          Try the bread from the banh mi shop in hollywood at the new farmers (Yellow Green Farmers Market)

                                          1. re: Yum Mi

                                            The bread at the banh Mi place at YG Farmer's market just seems to be regular french baguette and rather narrow.

                                            1. re: lax2mia

                                              I agree. The sandwich was good but it did not seem to be the same rice-flour baguette you get in joints up north. Again, good sandwich, but it did not carry the balance of flavors between the fresh and pickled veggies, pate and meat the other ones do. AND, to continue a general Miami complaint, it was $6 or so. Up north they were $2.50 -$3.50. Part of the novelty for me was having something so delicious for so cheap.

                                              I agree with sfeatz below that Orlando has some legitimate Bahn Mi's at legitimate prices.

                                        2. re: edogee

                                          Yea the bread at the banh mi place at the farmers market is slim but it was great for me to eat it while i walk around and i can bite into it without it being messy. As for the price, yes its a bit more expensive than what you would find up north but its not bad for a snadwich down here

                                      2. Just spent 3 days in Orlando and had Banh mi for 3 lunches at 3 different restaurants- WOW!!! Colonial drive offers the best I have ever eaten in Florida. That same pho restaurant on Pines also opened on University and Sunset Strip in Sunrise- agreed that it is just ok but fills the craving and is convenient location.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sfeatz

                                          Interesting Article. Shing Wang's Banh Mi on front page on Miami New Times http://bit.ly/fUD73Z Spoke with the owner. She is planning to lower the price on the Classic Banh Mi to $4 She said she just wants people to try them.

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                                          New Time
                                          2120 NE 123rd St, North Miami, FL 33181