Greensboro Pakse Cafe
I enjoyed my first legit Banh Mi in Greensboro for the 1st time last week at the Pakse Cafe on Florida St. (@ Freeman Mill Rd.). I had read a review about Pakse awhile back in, I believe, either the GoTriad or YesWeekly but had forgotten about it until I had the hankering. As that review had illustrated, this establishment is no frills, but it reminded me of the many Vietnamese Cafe/Coffee shops I frequented in East Oakland (CA). They have several types of Banh Mi-s but I opted for the classic roast pork. As with most Banh Mi-s, it's the bread that truly makes it and this one did not disappoint. The roll was crisp and squishy on the inside and the ingredients were good - slight spread of liver pate, a relish of carrots and radishes, ample amount of chiles for the heat and std Chinese/Asian sliced roast pork. The price had risen (from that original review) but it's still a great deal for $3.75. In going with the no-frills theme, there's also an ample Asian store (unlike the wonderland of the Super G Mart on W. Market) where I was able to pick up some essentials.
I was in San Francisco last week and I had a Banh Mi at "Baguette Express" in Little Saigon (suppposedly some of the best in the SF area according to this post: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/shookdown/2... ).
I gotta say that while the Banh Mi at Baguette Express was great, I prefer the one at Pakse Cafe more. Its awesome.
The roast pork is always the way to go. I was in the store last week and had the shrimp spring rolls that came with an excellent dipping sauce. In the past i had tried the banh cuon though I an not a fan of these. Never been to that particular asian store, I always thought they were more of a corner store with a fish market inside
I just got back from a trip to Pakse Cafe. The banh mi is REALLY good, night and day better than the one at Pho 9N9. I'm not sure it was worth the drive from Durham, (what can I say, I had a craving) but if you're in the area absolutely check it out.
I too had the roast pork. If I had one complaint, the cilantro was a little stemmy, but it took all of 15 seconds to fix that, and for all I know it's supposed to be that way. The pork was tender, the daikon and carrot really upped the crunch, the jalapeno added just the right heat and the pate just married it all together. But of course, as the OP says, it's really all about the bread, and theirs is right on point.
Bonus points for the strange little electronic monkey that wolf whistles when you walk in the door.
Pakse is good but Banh Mi Saigon is better for one big reason, they bake their own bread and it is amazing. It's crispy on the outside and marshmallow soft on the inside. Plus, their sandwiches run3-3.50 versus 4 at Pakse. We tried the classic, roast pork, and bbq beef (my favorite).
I highly recommend getting some of that bread to go (50 cents each)-- they said they have fresh bread coming out of the oven every 3 hours.
827 W Florida St, Greensboro, NC 27406