- houlette Aug 8, 2007 08:19 AM
A year or two ago there was a little Vietnamese cafe near Porter Square called Sweet Tea Cafe. Among other things, they had a great banh mi sandwich. Sadly, they closed after a year and now my wife and I are craving banh mi. Anybody know of a place to find them in Boston?
I like New Saigon Sandwich in Chinatown on Washington St. Can't go wrong for $2.50. I also like their avocado shakes.
There are multiple options around Boston - my two favorites are Mei Sum bakery in Chinatown and Banh Mi Ba Le in Dorchester, about a mile north of Fields Corner on Dot Ave. There are also many raves for the sandwiches from the vietnamese stand in the Super 88 food court in Allston, which based on one visit I thought was very good but not quite as good as the two above. There are also two places in Chinatown within about a block of Mei Sum but so far I haven't risked my $2.50 (going rate for the sandwich) on them - hopefully others can comment. There's also Chau's Bakery in Fields Corner, which is good but if you have a car it's worth going the (literal) extra mile up Dot Ave. to Ba Le.
Place linking isn't quite working for Ba Le - Banh Mi Ba Le is at 1025 Dorchester Ave. in Dorchester - not to be confused with Ba Le Cafe in Fields Corner, which I think is the same people but doesn't have banh mi.
Mei Sum Bakery Coffee Shop
40 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111
Banh Mi Ba Le
1052 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125
You can find them in a lot of little stores in Chinatown in Boston. My favorites are still the ones at Mix Bakery on Beach St (next to the scary dilapidated garage). My next favorite were the ones from the cart - the cat that started it all by introducing banh mi to Boston - that was at the bottom of the building at the corner of Beach & Harrison. I don't know if that is still there though, given that they're converting that building to lofts/condos.
Places advertising their banh mi's will usually have a decent selection.
Vietnamese cold cuts (which may be the pate you're referring to), curried chicken,
teriyaki or BBQ beef and chicken. Pork and Tofu too and I'm sure I'm forgetting others.
Add daikon, cilantro, onion and carrots. Hots (usually diced fresh jalapenos) also available. On a warm crusty baguette.
Most places usually put mayo and fish sauce on them.
Any of these can be ordered without, like a sub order.
Just make sure it's clear what you want on or off as it's being made.
Specifics can get lost in the translation at some places.
I've only had the bahn mi at Pho Viet (Super 88 foodcourt) and it had grilled chicken (nothing pate-like). It did have some sort of suace that seemed to be mayo-based, but I am not a fan of the flavor of plain mayo and I enjoyed the sauce. And the sandwich, too. My sister got their tofu bahn mi, which was tasty, though I preferred the flavor of the grilled chicken.