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Looking for decent Bahn Mi in Raleigh, Durham, NC area.

durhamfoodie3 Sep 22, 2009 07:18 PM

Tried 9N9 for bahn mi and was so very disappointed. I read another posting from few years back that said there is a grocery store that sells bahn mi off Capital? Does anyone know the address or the name of this place? Also is La Vie off capital any good?

  1. meatn3 Sep 22, 2009 09:12 PM

    The grocery is in the shopping center at the SE corner of Capital and Brentwood, just a few lights north of 440.

    I tried to get a few banh mi made on a Fri. evening (which I have done before) and the clerk said they don't make them on the weekends - said to get them in the food court. This is new, but I think he was slammed with stocking shelves and didn't want to take the time to mess with the sandwiches. The last time I had their banh mi a woman who had never helped me before made the sandwiches and added some pulled pork to the mix - another first.

    I ended up ordering from the place straight in front of where the hall to the food court opens out. Their banh mi was .50 higher, less pickled vegetables, more jalapeno. It was good, but I prefer the one in the grocery more. The grocery has been having interesting sweets on a table near the sandwich station lately.

    Many posters say the pho in the food court is the best around. Three fellows were having some when I ordered the sandwiches. It looked great and the aroma was very tempting. Once the weather cools down I plan to finally try it there!

    A side note, the Chinese place in this plaza - Fortune Palace- is very good too. There is a traditional menu, an American menu (some overlap) and usually a number of seafood specials. I have never tried the lunch buffet, so can't comment on that.

    4 Replies
    1. re: meatn3
      meatn3 Oct 3, 2009 08:33 PM

      update:
      This past Friday evening the grocery accepted our order - no problem!

      1. re: meatn3
        meatn3 Mar 13, 2010 04:37 PM

        More....

        The grocery no longer makes them (new ownership).

        The place in the food court does, but they are nowhere near as good anymore.

        1. re: meatn3
          meatn3 Jun 3, 2011 09:10 PM

          Just a quick update-

          The grocery is closed, the space is for rent. The doors to the food court/nail salon/etc. are locked and it looks as though that area is closed up.

          The irony is they have changed the name of the plaza, now called Asian Plaza!

          This could be a terrific location for a food co-op if anyone is still trying to put one together in Raleigh.

      2. re: meatn3
        durhamfoodie3 Jan 28, 2010 02:07 PM

        I have forgotten all about this posting. Thank you for the insight. Will definitely try it.

      3. cheinonen Sep 23, 2009 07:19 AM

        If you want to go a little further out to Chapel Hill, Sandwhich does a Bahn Mi that's pretty good. A little more jalapeno than I prefer, but that's easy to remove.

        -----
        Sandwich
        431 W Franklin St # 16, Chapel Hill, NC

        1. ToothTooth Sep 23, 2009 09:25 AM

          Though I've never had it, I do know that Jujube in Chapel Hill has a bahn mi on the lunch menu. For my money, the best bahn mi I've ever had is at the vietnamese Pakse Cafe in Greensboro at the corner of Freeman Mill Rd and Flordia.

          8 Replies
          1. re: ToothTooth
            meatn3 Jun 3, 2011 09:13 PM

            Your posting led me to try Pakse Cafe a few years ago - it is fantastic. I plan my trips west so that I can stop off there and get several to go.

            Thank you so much, I've had many delicious lunches since learning of them. The fact that they are such an easy detour from I-40 makes it even sweeter!

            -----
            Pakse Cafe
            827 W Florida St, Greensboro, NC 27406

            1. re: meatn3
              ToothTooth Jun 8, 2011 03:01 PM

              I do the exact same thing. If I'm EVER in the area of Pakse Cafe during their business hours, you better believe I'm gonna swing off I-40 and pick up about 6 or 8 of those sammiches to go! Glad you enjoy them! They really are great.

              -----
              Pakse Cafe
              827 W Florida St, Greensboro, NC 27406

              1. re: ToothTooth
                durhamfoodie3 Jun 8, 2011 03:39 PM

                Jujube was the best bahn mi i had in NC. I guess i am looking for authentic bahn mi, that i used to get up in northern VA. next, I will Try Pakse Cafe!! Thanks for the tips

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                Pakse Cafe
                827 W Florida St, Greensboro, NC 27406

                1. re: ToothTooth
                  r
                  rockycat Jun 13, 2011 04:17 PM

                  Just stopped off a Pakse Cafe for the first time today. Pretty sketchy strip mall location, but definitely good sandwiches. I have to drive through the area again next month and I'm planning another stop there.

                  -----
                  Pakse Cafe
                  827 W Florida St, Greensboro, NC 27406

                2. re: meatn3
                  durhamfoodie3 Oct 12, 2011 01:46 PM

                  Banh Mi Saigon 3808 High Point Rd Greensboro, NC 27407 I am hearing this place is also good, and they make their own bread every couple of hours.

                3. re: ToothTooth
                  k
                  kirol7777 Jan 20, 2012 05:52 PM

                  Do you know if they offer any vegetarian bahn mi?

                  1. re: kirol7777
                    meatn3 Jan 20, 2012 08:21 PM

                    I was in there today and didn't notice a vegetarian option, but I wasn't looking for it either. There were about 5-6 options.

                    They are quite nice and English isn't a problem, so they may be open to making one special.

                    ISTR Saigon Bakery has a vegetarian option which is tasty.

                    1. re: kirol7777
                      LulusMom Jan 21, 2012 02:25 AM

                      If I remember correctly (and forgive me if someone has already mentioned this on this thread) City Beverage has a veg. bahn mi.

                  2. p
                    PeterB Sep 23, 2009 02:15 PM

                    What's wrong with 9N9's Banh Mi? Maybe it's gone downhill of late but the times I've had it in the past I thought it was pretty good. And cheap. Excellent with their spicy, cilantro-y hot & sour soup.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: PeterB
                      b
                      BustedFlush Sep 22, 2010 02:50 PM

                      The bread was all wrong at 9N9, (not crispy, too chewy) plus there was no dressing; made for a very dry sandwich.

                      Not horrible by any stretch, I'd eat one again, but not even in the same ballpark as what I was hoping for,

                      1. re: PeterB
                        durhamfoodie3 Jun 8, 2011 03:41 PM

                        when i went for lunch at 9n9, all i got was spongy bread and some meats. I am not sure if the chef was out and someone else was filling in that day or something. I guess 9N9 is best for pho

                        1. re: durhamfoodie3
                          ToothTooth Jun 9, 2011 11:44 AM

                          Yeah, the sandwich at 9n9 only had a passing resemblance to a bahn mi. The bread was bad and the meats weren't very good at all. I understand that 9n9 has stopped selling them altogether, which is probably for the best, because that sandwich really wasn't making a good attempt.

                      2. t
                        TerryG Sep 23, 2009 07:53 PM

                        Dalat In Mission Valley Shopping Shopping in Raleigh used to have a separate Bahn Mi shop next to their restaurant which had very good sandwiches as I remember. They closed the shop a few years ago but I think the restaurant still serves them.

                        The best I've had in the triangle are at the new Spize Cafe on Fayetteville St in Raleigh. They may not be exactly authentic (they don't even call them bahn mi) but the baguette was delectably crunchy, they were nice and spicy and they offer a variety of non-traditional fillings ... but they really are bahn mi. Try them.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: TerryG
                          l
                          loganvic Mar 13, 2010 12:30 PM

                          I second Dalat,,,,,the Bahn Mi is really good there.

                          1. re: TerryG
                            a
                            albritton76 Mar 14, 2010 08:09 PM

                            I'll second the bahn mi at Spize Cafe. They simply call them baguettes, and they're excellent.

                            1. re: albritton76
                              t
                              TerryG Mar 16, 2010 08:43 PM

                              Thanks for the second on the Spize. "baguettes" I really think their special, but it's been a while. Need to try them out again.

                              1. re: TerryG
                                t
                                TerryG Mar 19, 2010 01:11 PM

                                Just hit Spize for lunch. Had their "baguette. " Delicious! Plenty of grilled meat, fresh vegies and herbs. But best of all -- the bread was properly crusty. The best BM I've had in the Triangle. At $7.95, it's not the bargain that traditional Bahn Mi often are, but well worth it as a lunch sandwich.

                              2. re: albritton76
                                d
                                dinersaurus Mar 20, 2010 12:33 PM

                                Another shout out for Spize...their lemongrass pork "baguette" is awesome.

                                1. re: dinersaurus
                                  b
                                  BebeNC Jun 9, 2011 10:19 AM

                                  And another enthusiastic vote for Spize. They deliver to Duke, the owner is very gracious, and the baguettes are wonderful: each bite a little different, and very fresh and flavorful throughout.

                                  -----
                                  Spize Cafe
                                  121 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601

                                  1. re: BebeNC
                                    ToothTooth Jun 9, 2011 11:45 AM

                                    Spize does have good sandwiches, but I find it hard to believe that they deliver from downtown Raleigh to Duke University. That's a really long trip.

                                    -----
                                    Spize Cafe
                                    121 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601

                                    1. re: ToothTooth
                                      b
                                      BebeNC Jun 9, 2011 11:57 AM

                                      Believe it, only check their minimum. I do large group catering fairly often.

                                      1. re: BebeNC
                                        ToothTooth Jun 9, 2011 12:53 PM

                                        That's a pretty important point to make:

                                        Spize will deliver to Durham, as long as you order a bunch of food and run up a tab that makes it worth their while to deliver it to Duke.

                                        -----
                                        Spize Cafe
                                        121 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601

                            2. meatn3 Mar 22, 2010 04:49 AM

                              I tried Green Basil in the shopping center at the SW corner of New Hope and Capital in Raleigh.
                              Four bahn mi on the menu board, ordered the combo. Roll was very good, but a little smaller than usual (about the length of a hot dog roll). Liver pate was a soft schmear - initially it looked like a very dark whole grain mustard, but had good flavor. A single slice of pressed chicken (?), head cheese and what seemed to be roast beef completed the meats. Ample cilantro, several cucumber wedges and grated carrot with such a light pickling that only the bright color convinced me they were pickled. No daikon, jalapeno or mayo. Meats were icy cold which negatively impacted the flavor. Sandwich was $3 and change.

                              The only flavor was from the liver and cilantro. My search continues.

                              Note: Initially tried to get a bahn mi at Far East Pho across the street. They don't serve them and pointed for me to go across the street to Green Basil. At 3:30 on a Sun. afternoon Far East had a good crowd and the food looked and smelled great. I hope to try them soon.

                              -----
                              Green Basil
                              3901 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27604

                              1. p
                                PeterB Jun 8, 2011 02:01 PM

                                It's a little more fancy, but Jujube in Chapel Hill makes a great Bahn Mi. I also had a special off the food truck Ko Kyu which were duck andouille bahn mi sliders. Awesome!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: PeterB
                                  LulusMom Oct 15, 2011 04:19 PM

                                  I'm not an especially big fan of the place, but figured I'd pass along the news I recently got that Jujube is now open Sunday evenings.

                                2. r
                                  rafeco Jun 9, 2011 12:43 PM

                                  Da Lat has my favorite Banh Mi in Raleigh. The spicy beef is particularly good, and as far as I've seen, they're the only place that really gets the bread right.

                                  Spize makes a good sandwich, but the bread is way too chewy for a good Banh Mi.

                                  -----
                                  Spize Cafe
                                  121 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601

                                  1. l
                                    loganvic Jun 13, 2011 08:42 AM

                                    Tried the baguette at Spize this weekend, and it was really good -- Also had a soup that was great -- I will definitely go back.

                                    -----
                                    Spize Cafe
                                    121 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: loganvic
                                      ToothTooth Oct 13, 2011 06:45 AM

                                      I've been meaning to come back to this thread for several weeks to let everyone know that Lime & Basil in Chapel Hill is now offering bahn mi and they're freakin' great. The bread is perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The carrots and daikon are nicely pickled and the mayo/pate ratio is spot on. I ordered mine with pork and you could tell that the thinly sliced pieces of pork were griddled hot and fresh just after I placed my order. In fact, the pork seems to be exactly the same taste and style as what they use at Spize Cafe.

                                      These sandwiches are more expensive than bahn mi you'll find anywhere else ($5.00 per) but its really worth it when you consider that the only way you can do better than this particular bahn mi is to drive all the way out to Pakse Cafe in Greensboro.

                                      I also want to point out that the bahn mi at Lime & Basil is only available for take out, so make sure to order a bag full and have yourself a nice picnic somewhere to enjoy this nice fall weather.

                                      -----
                                      Pakse Cafe
                                      827 W Florida St, Greensboro, NC 27406

                                      Lime & Basil
                                      200 W Franklin St Ste 130, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                                      1. re: ToothTooth
                                        m
                                        mkeater Oct 15, 2011 02:00 PM

                                        I totally have to second ToothTooth! I had been searching for a decent banh mi and had been asking Lime and Basil to please do it and have been so impressed. I've only tried the cold cut one because it is SO delicious! It's as good as the ones I remember getting in Queens ;)

                                        1. re: ToothTooth
                                          LulusMom Oct 15, 2011 04:21 PM

                                          Wow. Really surprised. I'm walking distance to Lime and Basil, and go occasionally, but don't think it is great food. But now maybe I need to go to try the Banh Mi. Thanks for the tip.

                                          1. re: ToothTooth
                                            b
                                            bbqme Oct 15, 2011 08:49 PM

                                            My favorite if Gboro is Saigon Bahn Mi. The grilled beef #4 is mind blowing...and it costs $3! Oh and they bake their own bread, which is fantastic in its own right. I always get some of their bread to go. We passed through last we and the 3 of us had 10 bahn mis between us! We just couldn't get enough.

                                            1. re: bbqme
                                              durhamfoodie3 Oct 18, 2011 10:08 AM

                                              I tried the Saigon Bahn Mi's chicken, roast pork and regular pork. They are AWSOME!!! Next time I will have to remember to get some extra bread. I bought about 5 sandwiches, and kept them refriderated. I toast the sandwich when ready to eat and its almost as good as fresh. Next time we will try the grilled beef and the special of the day!! YUM

                                              1. re: durhamfoodie3
                                                ToothTooth Feb 25, 2013 10:20 AM

                                                I'm bumping this thread to make note of a new bahn mi option in Morrisville, NC. The recently opened "Taste of Vietnamese" restaurant in the Morrisville Square plaza (this plaza is also home to C&T Wok, Tower Indian, and Sol Azteca) doesn't list banh mi on the menu, but if you ask for one they'll make it for you for around $4. Overall, its not a terrible sandwich, but it did have a few shortcomings. Specifically, the grilled pork on my sandwich was super salty, the carrot/daikon didn't seem to be pickled at all and the baguette was overly soft and had zero crunch. Still, it'll do the trick if you happen to be jonesing for a banh mi fix.

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