HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice
TELL US

bahn mi

anita_cocktail Dec 14, 2007 11:16 AM

Where can one find a delicious vietnamese sandwich in Austin?
crustily yours.

  1. f
    foodiegal71 Dec 14, 2007 12:46 PM

    Tam Deli on North Lamar
    Lily's Sandwich on North Lamar in the Chinatown Center

    1. m
      mkwng Dec 14, 2007 07:57 PM

      Another discussion here:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/319520

      1. abidonfood Dec 15, 2007 10:29 AM

        Tam's Deli - on North Lamar. I hear they make a salt and pepper squid version that's not on the menu.

        Lilly's Sandwich - on North Lamar in Chinatown center. They make a vegetarian version that's not on the menu.

        Pho Van - on 183/Peyton Gin next to Din Ho. They make a great tofu version that's not on the menu. The bread here is the best in my opinion, very toasty...

        I don't think Ba Le exists anymore, but they used to have some good sandwiches i hear.

        I've heard of a place on Grand Avenue Parkway up in Pflugerville. apparently they also sell cell phones there? Don't know the name of the place, but i've heard good reviews on it... Anyone know what i'm talking about? ;)

        5 Replies
        1. re: abidonfood
          m
          Mike B Dec 16, 2007 10:09 AM

          There is a relatively new place called Thanh Nhi on North Lamar that is getting some good buzz. Have any hounds tried it yet? I'll try to stop by this week.

          1. re: Mike B
            v
            Veewing Dec 25, 2007 07:08 PM

            I tried Thanh Nhi and liked it very much. The Bahn mi were pork and pate based; I think there was a chicken variation. Ingredients very fresh and tasty. The bread was a crispy bollilo--seems to be the Texas standard for bahn mi, rather than French bread. The pho had a nice tasty broth. I will definitely return.

            1. re: Veewing
              Daisy L Jun 23, 2008 08:51 AM

              Second on Thanh Nhi.

              1. re: Daisy L
                b
                brattpowered Jun 23, 2008 01:49 PM

                Third on Thanh Nhi.

                1. re: brattpowered
                  m
                  mkwng Jun 23, 2008 01:56 PM

                  Ooops! I never followed up on that post.

                  I agree with all the recommendations. Great food and great service at Thanh Nhi. Get the grilled pork paste spring rolls! So good they are pictured over every table.

        2. s
          sqwertz Dec 15, 2007 11:23 AM

          Lily's is the best (and most traditional) in town. In the new MT Supermarket shopping center. They had some start up problems, but they've been ironed out.

          1. r
            renz Dec 16, 2007 12:15 PM

            Has anyone ever been to Banh Mi Express (on E. Riverside)? I drive past it all the time but have never gone inside. Any other recs on the south side of town? I know it's on Hai Ky's menu, but they don't list any pate in the description so I haven't tried it.

            6 Replies
            1. re: renz
              s
              sqwertz Dec 16, 2007 08:18 PM

              Banh Mi Express seeme to have been there for quite a while (at least 2004), but I had never seen it or tried it. That might be a destination of mine tomorrow.

              1. re: sqwertz
                Nab Dec 17, 2007 06:45 PM

                Where is this place exactly ? Am I right that it is on the other side of the street from El Regio & Regiomontana ? I did a drive-by on my way home from work tonight and couldn't see it.

                I could use another lunch option in that area because, well, I'll admit, I'm actually getting tired of Tomgro and the other carts around there. There, I said it.

              2. re: renz
                r
                renz Jun 22, 2008 11:46 AM

                Just to update, Banh Mi Express has been gone for I don't know how long (sign's still up, though) and Hai Ky took their's off the menu. So one of these day's I'll have to drive over to that trailor everyone's buzzing about.

                1. re: renz
                  n
                  nk. Jul 2, 2008 11:50 AM

                  Do yourself a favor and *don't* go to Lily's (that trailer that everyone's been buzzing about).

                  I wouldn't say that it's bad, but for $5 dollars a sandwich, it is truly disappointing. It wasn't even that tasty either. You'd be much better off at Than Nhi. That'd buy you almost two sandwiches.

                  1. re: nk.
                    m
                    mkwng Jul 2, 2008 12:04 PM

                    Lulu B's is the trailer in South Austin. Lily's Sandwich is the joint in Chinatown on North Lamar.

                    1. re: mkwng
                      n
                      nk. Jul 6, 2008 08:02 PM

                      Gah!

                      Thanks for clearing that up.

                      I was talking about Lulu B's on S. Lamar next the Office Supply Store.

                      Lily's is good for meat eaters, but their vegetarian sandwiches are pretty terrible.

              3. y
                yimay Dec 17, 2007 07:03 PM

                i think pho van's is still the best. the bread is key and pho van's is perfect. also tam deli's meat doesn't have that char-grilled texture/flavor and lily's is missing something as well. i have never tried bánh mi express.

                1. k
                  ktown378 Jun 22, 2008 06:24 PM

                  Baguette House in the chinatown center on north lamar opened not too long ago. if you're looking at MT supermarket from the front it's the very last shop on the right. I've been twice and both times service has been friendly and efficient. The bread is baked in house and while not as crusty on the outside and tender on the inside as i would like, still passable. They also have croissants and a few other sweet as well as savory pastries, along with some rice and vermicelli dishes. i'm no bahn mi expert for sure, but between lily's and bag. house i would probably go for the latter.

                  1. Daisy L Jul 2, 2008 12:18 PM

                    Any word on the Baguette house? (The place next to the tofu place at Chinatown mall?)

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Daisy L
                      m
                      mkwng Aug 3, 2008 06:58 AM

                      I went to Baguette House yesterday. I think it's the best banh mi in town at this point. As ktown378 mentioned, they are also a bakery, and I saw a steady line of people buying baguettes while I was there. I got a pate chaud (ground pork in flaky pastry) and a combination sandwich. Great bread, fresh fillings.

                      1. re: mkwng
                        n
                        nk. Aug 3, 2008 11:23 AM

                        Do you know if they have a Tofu sandwich?

                        1. re: nk.
                          m
                          mkwng Aug 3, 2008 05:54 PM

                          Yes, there was one on the menu. I found a PDF copy here:

                          http://chinatownaustin.com/menus/Baqu...

                          1. re: mkwng
                            c
                            chucklesmcfarland Aug 12, 2008 01:14 PM

                            So it is only to go, no tables?

                            1. re: chucklesmcfarland
                              m
                              mkwng Aug 12, 2008 04:39 PM

                              No, Baguette House has several tables.

                      2. re: Daisy L
                        s
                        sqwertz Aug 3, 2008 07:08 PM

                        Darn. I forgot this place existed and went to Lily's by default. I even forgot about Kim Son, too. I was in soms ort of zone. It's rare I get up that far and I forgot to try out either of the two (but I did plenty of grocery shopping).

                        -sw

                        1. re: Daisy L
                          kuidaore Aug 15, 2008 05:11 PM

                          Bqguette House's bread is the best, but their banh mi needs dressing or mayo or something. It's too dry. We liked #2 over #1 or #5.

                          For a point of reference, we think Thanh Nhi's banh mi is pretty bad.

                          How's Lily's?

                        2. s
                          singlemalt Aug 4, 2008 10:01 AM

                          I noticed a place at the strip mall at the NW corner of Rutland and Lamar called Cafe de Bella. Haven't tried it but it's there if anyone is interested. BTW, they sell sandwiches.

                          14 Replies
                          1. re: singlemalt
                            amysuehere Aug 5, 2008 10:23 AM

                            I tried it a few weeks back and liked it a lot.

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/540061

                            1. re: amysuehere
                              sweet100s Aug 12, 2008 03:51 PM

                              Amysue, I tried it after reading your post and liked it a lot!

                              I really felt like a salad w/ some kind of meat in it, but after conferring with the person behind the counter and the cook, they talked me into the pork sandwich.

                              Sounds simple, but it was delicious, with a lot of interesting things going on in the sandwich, and very flavorful bread.

                              The owner described how she has experimented with a lot of different bread recipes before finalizing on that one. She said they haven't really 'opened' publically yet, as they are having trouble finding help, and they need to do that before they advertise.

                              The menu offerings sound so simple, yet there's a lot of unpublished detail, both ingredients and other details. ex: She pairs different breads with different sandwiches. The example I remember was whole wheat w/ the turkey sandwich. As much as I love turkey sandwiches, next time I'm there I've got to order one that comes with that baguette again.

                              She suggested I get the 'Gourmet' sandwich next time I was there.

                              1. re: sweet100s
                                amysuehere Aug 13, 2008 06:02 AM

                                Glad I turned you on to something. Always fun finding new "treasures". Agreed, she's very enthusiastic. I got the gourmet, complete with head cheese (not my favorite), but it was quite good.

                                1. re: amysuehere
                                  rudeboy Aug 14, 2008 06:18 PM

                                  I just got the gourmet and the bbq pork (actually, they have a buy 3, get the 4th free special right now). She told me that she would set the veggies aside for the last two, but I guess something slipped up in the kitchen, because the chicken and the ham have no veggies and there are none to be found.

                                  The bread is absolutely wonderful. My impression is that the BBQ pork (which I am chewing as I write this sentence) is served on a sweeter bread. Not like dessert-sweet or anything, but sweet for a sandwich bread. The pork itself is charred, but tastes like it was marinated in some sort of marinade with fish sauce. I detect a hint of mayo, but it isn't dripping like some places. Standard veggies and cilantro but not too much. No lettuce, and I dont' taste any mint.

                                  The gourmet is served with a more savory bread, and has several meats on it. Otherwise similar to the other in terms of condiments and veggies. I liked the head cheese and jamon.

                                  What is pork roll, though?

                                  1. re: rudeboy
                                    m
                                    mkwng Aug 14, 2008 08:43 PM

                                    Pork roll is a very fine pork sausage, sort of like a mortadella. It's sort of gray in color. Most banh mi places have one or more "gourmet" or "combination" sandwiches that feature a variety of pork products - head cheese, pate, pork roll, or ham.

                                    1. re: mkwng
                                      rudeboy Aug 15, 2008 08:28 AM

                                      When I asked her, she offered to go get some to show me. I sheepishly declined - I don't know why. She didn't exactly tell me about the head cheese on the gourmet. The slices of it looked real good on the sandwich. Tasty. I'll definitely ask more questions next week.

                              2. re: amysuehere
                                m
                                mkwng Aug 12, 2008 04:40 PM

                                I'm confused; is it on N Lamar or Research? Or are there 2 of them?

                                1. re: mkwng
                                  amysuehere Aug 13, 2008 06:04 AM

                                  It's at 183 and Ohlen, in the Target shopping center (north side of 183) at the exact opposite end than the Target, tucked "behind" Din Ho, next door to the post office.

                                2. re: amysuehere
                                  MyySharona Aug 13, 2008 09:41 AM

                                  I went to Cafe de Bella today based on the recommendation here and got a #8 Bahn Mi. What a great sandwich! Next time, though, I'm taking someone with me so we can split it. It doesn't look like a huge amount of food, but it is so filling. Light, crusty french bread with pate, pork roll, sweet pickled onion, shredded carrot, pepper, cucumber, homemade mayo, and cracked pepper. It normally comes with cilantro, but I opted to get it without since I'm one of those people that thinks cilantro tastes like soap. I cannot believe this sandwich has a menu price of $3.79. It's amazing.
                                  I also got a large watermelon juice. This is the most refreshing thing I have ever had. Light, naturally sweet, and cool. I ended up getting a second one without ice because I knew I would drink most of the first one in the car on the way home.
                                  I can't wait to go back and try the other sandwiches and juices. They also have a variety of smoothie flavors, including durian and avacado.

                                3. re: singlemalt
                                  s
                                  sqwertz Aug 17, 2008 07:43 AM

                                  Gullible as I am, I went looking for this place yesterday, doing laps around the parking lot looking for this place. It's not there.

                                  I finally ended up at Baguette House instead (#1 and #5), and some mandatory BBQ pork from First China to go.

                                  I was going to go to Kim Son, but I was kinda turned off by the 4-5 sleazy employees hanging around outside the front door smoking and scratching their crotches (~3:00pm Saturday).

                                  1. re: sqwertz
                                    s
                                    scrumptiouschef Aug 17, 2008 08:11 AM

                                    or as Harry Crews would put it"hustling their balls and spittin"

                                    1. re: sqwertz
                                      t
                                      televiking Aug 17, 2008 09:43 AM

                                      Were you looking for Cafe de Bella in the Chinatown Center? CDB is in the shopping center with Din Ho and Sunflower. I went, and liked my Gourmet sandwich OK - wasn't bowled over. Too much mayo, bread too dense for my personal banh mi preference, veggies in huge chunks instead of slices and/or julienne. Meats were good, whole thing tasted fresh, just not my favorite. Also took about TWENTY MINUTES to make, with only two other customers in the place. Gonna try Baguette House next.

                                      1. re: televiking
                                        rudeboy Aug 17, 2008 12:41 PM

                                        I just called in my order after reading this. It was just about ready when I picked it up. The were waiting to heat it until I got there.

                                        Their bread is dense in relation to most - I like that, though. I found out that they don't make their bread. However, the family makes all the meat - including the head cheese, pork roll, and the ham (I really like their version of ham). As I inspect my sandwich now, the daikon and the carrots are julienned. There are three while slices of fresh jalapeno distributed through the sandwich, and there are three long strips of thin cucumber.. Plus cilantro. I think that it needs a little more fish sauce, so I'm adding that at home.......

                                        1. re: televiking
                                          s
                                          sqwertz Aug 17, 2008 01:49 PM

                                          I was looking for Cafe Bella in the North Park shopping center at Rutland and Lamar - which is where somebody said it was. Now I know.

                                          My order at baguette house took 15 minutes. Not sure why it takes so long - They only take 30 seconds to make.

                                    Show Hidden Posts