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Feb 12, 2007 09:41 AM

Banh Mi with a traditional twist

My co-worker is from Vietnam (and a huge foodie), When I was inquire about a Banh Mi store that I wanted to try, she steered me towards a different one.

In the Peach Garden Restaurant on Jane and Sheppard (in the Price Chopper plaza) there is a Banh Mi counter that does it right.

First, all their bread is made on site, they have whole wheat and white, though I think the whole wheat is more popular as when I asked for white, they were unavailable--while they were still baking more whole wheat. The bun tends to be chewier and more french bread like than the ones I find on Spadina. Also, slightly longer.

More importantly, the filling is grilled meat, as in the meat you find on top of the bun or com dishes. The choices are chicken, pork and beef (that is also my order of preference...though all are very good). My co-worker was telling me how in Vietnam grilled meat is a very common option and how annoyed she is of the mainly cold cut options in other stores.

This Banh Mi store is a fairly new location. The restaurant use to be a donut shop or something so it already had all the baking equipment. The Banh Mi proprietor only really needed a booth and an oven, so he basically sub-let a corner of the Peach Garden restaurant to run his banh mi business. Peach garden is okay too...but the banh mis totally rock. They are $3 for grilled meat and $2.50 for your regular cold cuts. I knew about this place for a while, but was worried that if I chowhound it, it would get too busy and quality might slip. After trying the last of the 3 meats yesterday, I know it's time to share my knowledge. Enjoy.

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  1. Does your co-worker know of the blog ? It's awesome.

    1. Ginger (Yonge/Bloor and others) offers only the grilled meat variety. Perhaps it's a regional thing?

      1. There's one on Dundas, just west of spadina on the north side - don't remember the name but their bread was NOT like the bread at the Bahn Mi shops on Spadina, it was much thinner, crustier, shinier and TASTIER. their menu was numbered 1-8 in english and 1-9 in vietnamese (i don't know what the extra option for vietnamese is) the regular veggie, coldcut options are there - but also grilled meat, pate etc. although it wasn't 1.50 and seemed a little smaller than the large spadina st versions, i thought is was a great value - prices weren't all listed but i think its about $2-$3 each?

        2 Replies
          1. re: missmu

            missmu, Ba Le 2 was and excellent suggestion. I also used to frequent Co Yen. After it closed, Rose Cafe (Broadview) and Nguyen Hong became my go-to places. But this week, I was driving along Dundas and couldn't help but notice Ba Le 2 on the north side, a block or so west of Spadina. Wow!
            Fresh, very French mini baguettes--crusty and thin. I had a pork banh mi, spicy. They warmed up the pre-cooked pork and it was a delicious combo for $2.00. I'll be back. I also want to try the place at Jane and Sheppard.

        1. eco987, do they also offer vegetarian banh mi? In particular, I'm looking for a good tofu version. Thanks!

          1 Reply
          1. re: squeaks

            Ginger at Yonge/Bloor does have a yummy tofu version. (not sure about the other locations).

          2. does anybody know if the banh mi booth in this place is still a going concern? i'd just go out and check it out for myself, but the last 3 times i've gone looking for banh mi places near us they have been closed (more's the pity).

            i'm still looking for a fabulous banh mi place in the west end...while the banh mi at the place on dupont at edwin was good (despite the contact burns from the jamaican scotch bonnets), the selection was really limited. ditto the vietnamese supermarket at black creek and lawrence. i'm hoping that this place could be my salvation, having moved so far away from rose cafe.