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[DFW] Best Vietnamese Sandwich - Banh Mi [DFW]

We all need a good sandwich in these hard times. Since the economy is not so good, the chains are rolling out cheaper less tasty sandwiches faster than ever, and people do not want to drive terribly far these days. We have had the top sandwich in DFW before just focusing on one dish that is found at most Vietnamese restaurants, bahn mi.

What is your favorite banh mi haunt, where is it located, and what do you like about it (i.e. the bread lacerates your mouth, the bread is flaky on the outside but moist inside, the pate is seasoned just right and not too irony from the liver, the veggies are pickled just right, etc.). We need a concise list, once we get that then we can all compare notes on the top two or three to get a winner of bahn mi in the metroplex.

Again focus only on banh mi in the metroplex no other Vietnamese dishes.

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  1. Paté Banh Mi

    La Me
    9780 Walnut St
    Suite 140
    Dallas, Texas 75243
    972-669-8515
    8:00 am - 8:00 pm Wednesday - Monday, Closed Tuesday
    http://www.la-me.net/

    I will start of saying that the paté banh mi at La Me is my favorite by a long shot. The bread is nice and flaky and on some occasions lacerating (I think it comes from the Hong Kong Supermarket or one of the vendors inside). The paté is mildly flavored and combined with the butter and mayo is downright wrong in the health standpoint. The veggies are nice and crisp. They are pickled just right not too sweet and not too sour. The bread, pate and butter are all toasted making a nice warm delicious sandwich. I have had better bread elsewhere but the fillings just didn't measure up.

    5 Replies
    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

      LewisvilleHounder,

      What do you usually order at La Me? I tried it a few months ago after reading about it on this site and I was not very impressed. I ordered banh mi thit nuong and the pork had a very strong flavor to it. I think it was five spice powder. It also tasted a little old. The lady making my sandwich took the meat out of the refrigerator and microwaved it. I would like to try La Me again and order something different this time.

      Thanks!

      1. re: al427

        They changed chefs some time ago and have taken a turn for the worse.

        1. re: al427

          al,

          It was five spice powder and really there isn't that much. I would suspect you aren't a fan of the star anise in the five spice powder as it gives off the licorice flavor.

          When I go to La Me I order the pate. I ordered the thit nuong the last time I went and wasn't impressed. I don't really like the head cheese or the pork roll, I just like the pate, plain and simple.

          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            I actually don't mind five spice powder or star anise, but that's all I could taste on my sandwich that day. I guess I like my thit nuong different than how they prepare it or it was just a bad day.

            Thanks for the suggestion!

        2. re: LewisvilleHounder

          I really, really love La Me. I rarely make it out that way, but when I do, I always go there. I love their coconut tapioca and usually buy ten of them to store in the fridge. I also love their flan. I've probably eaten one of everything on the menu and it has all been really good. My mom used to own a Vietnamese restaurant and so, I tend to be pretty picky about my Asian food. La Me and Zander's taste exactly like the stuff I had growing up. Zander's is much more high end and La Me is solid everyday fare. However, the desserts are as good as I've had anywhere stateside.

        3. oh, i had one out in arlington that i liked a lot but i didn't write down the name of the place. i've gone back and tried to find it, and couldn't figure out where it was. and now of course i'm kicking myself.

          i can't wait to see what places are suggested! (to tell you the truth, i've been thinking about doing exactly this kind of roundup myself. great idea!)

          1 Reply
          1. re: teegee

            It a was probably bale off browning

          2. Not intending to be snarky by any stretch, but is there some new foodie definition of the word "lacerate"? I've always understood this word to mean: tear, cut, rip, etc....... Just curious?

            2 Replies
            1. re: CocoaNut

              Cocoanut,

              I mean just that lacerate your mouth.....the end of the banh mi (bread) can actually rough up the top of your mouth much like a good baguette can, and we are not talking those baguettes from Kroger or Albertsons. Some people look for that quality in their bread. I am about in the middle ground though...some days I do like it others I don't. For more information about the Vietnamese Baguette I would suggest the following:

              http://vietworldkitchen.typepad.com/b...

              A wiki guide to Banh Mi sandwiches-not the best:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A1n...

              Other resources:
              http://battleofthebanhmi.com/
              http://www.noodlepie.com/2004/05/stre...
              http://www.noodlepie.com/street_sandw...

              Lee's Sandwich chain from San Jose, CA is the McDonald's of the banh mi world. The menu is lengthy so you can see what all different varities there can be.
              http://leesandwiches.com/2008/main.ph...

              1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                WOW! Thanks for your response, but I must say, I would never go in search of, nor give credance to, any food type/product that lacerates my mouth, at least not in the literal sense. But I do understand what you're talking about. For me, I'd just need to find a more palatable descriptor; one that does not conjure up images of bleeding.

            2. Here are some of the ones I have tried and my recollections. I always get the bánh mì thịt nướng (grilled pork).

              Saigon Cali Hot Bakery‎
              1700 E Pioneer Pkwy, Arlington, TX‎ - (817) 795-9733‎

              Great fresh bread. I didn't think I was going to like the taste of the meat based on the odd bright pinkish color, but I was wrong. It was delicious. Higher meat to veggie ratio than most banh mi's i've had. I think I would have liked more veggies. Had a nice tangy spread that gave the sandwich some good heat.

              Bale Restaurant‎
              2240 Browning Dr, Arlington, TX‎ - (817) 274-0381‎

              Great fresh bread. Average meat. Excellent veggies. Lots of Jalepeno's - hot.

              Pho 95‎
              2525 E Arkansas Ln # 223, Arlington, TX‎ - (817) 543-2295‎

              Average all the way around. Nothing memorable.

              Ba Le Restaurant & Bakery‎
              3526 W Walnut St, Garland, TX‎ - (972) 276-6665‎

              Unedible. Tasted like soap or something nasty.

              Ba Lee Sandwich Shop‎
              1927 E Belt Line Rd # 125, Carrollton, TX‎ -

              Was hyped up to try based on several reviews I read but was unimpressed. I don't remember much about it except the fact that I was disappointed.

              2 Replies
              1. re: snatex

                was the "soap" taste in your banh mi from ba le from cilantro?

                1. re: luniz

                  I don't think so. I think it was the pork that tasted off.

              2. Quoc Bao amd Saigon Cali. Contest is over, thank you for playing.

                6 Replies
                1. re: OCNC

                  bwahaha ty for calling the shots, ocnc. we will all go en masse. well, i will.

                  1. re: OCNC

                    I've also heard that Quoc Bao is good but never gave it the time of day since every comparison I've ever heard about Quoc Bao compares their banh mi to Ba Le and it doesn't take much effort to top Ba Le. I stopped going there since finding out about La Me in the last discussion of what is the best banh mi in town:
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/428669

                    So my question to you: What makes Quoc Bao stand out over La Me? I'm on the same boat as LH - La Me is my favorite due to their fillings. Is Quoc Bao's bread that much better?

                    1. re: air

                      Waaay better, air. Try it, you just might like it!

                      1. re: air

                        Air, are you talking about Ba Le in Garland or Bale in Arlington? I think people were talking about the one in Arlington in the old thread. (We didn't like their food, including banh mi, at all.)

                        We love Ba Le's (Garland) banh mi--I can eat it every day (We've been eating it twice a week lately). We like that chewy, gummy bread--whenever we are there, a stream of people come and grab a bag of their bread and they sell out quick.

                        We know someone who likes Quoc Bao's, but we find their bread too soft (we didn't like their fillings, either). He finds Ba Le's bread too chewy. (Of course, he only has half his teeth!) Guess different strokes for different folks.

                        I was never impressed with La Me's banh mi. (I don't like pate so #1 doesn't do it for me. I like shredded chicken best at La Me.) Since we discovered Nam Hua and Ba Le, we haven't been to La Me.

                        1. re: kuidaore

                          Definitely not the one in Arlington, there's no way I'd drive that far unless it was for gourmet banh mi, haha. I'm talking about Ba Le in Garland, it was the first recommendation I got for banh mi when I had first moved up here.

                          Back then, I hardly ever found myself around the particular intersection with HK Market until Bistro B opened. I had always noticed La Me real closeby to Bistro, but was skeptical until I read your post mentioning the owner of Zander's House vouching for the banh mi.

                          I do like pate, so looks like there's something we've got opposing tastes on!

                      2. re: OCNC

                        I tried Quoc Bao. Excellent sandwich. Very good bread. Very good fillers. Only bummer was that the bread nor the grilled pork were warm.