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Banh Mi in Charlotte

h
hazardnc May 18, 2010 04:04 PM

Our family discovered the joys of bahn mi about 2 years ago are pretty pleased with what we have been able to try at the shop in Asian Corner Mall on Tryon. However, that is a trek for us, and I am wondering of anyone knows of any other banh mi shops on Central or South Blvd?

  1. c
    Ciao Italia Foodie Mar 11, 2013 01:30 PM

    Mahi Mahi Banh Mi @ Deap Sea Seafood Market on Monroe rd. Matthews!

    1. b
      billyjack Mar 11, 2013 12:35 PM

      Driving down South Blvd the other day I noticed a sign for a new restaurant "VN Tofu to Go". It did not appear to be open yet. I was immediately intrigued as I love both Vietnamese food and fresh tofu. Google turns up a place with the same name in Norcross, GA outside ATL. That one has banh mi along with various Vietnamese street foods and fresh soy milk. Lets hope its the same here.

      its in the no-man's land between Archdale and Arrowood, in the newer strip center with Fazel Jewellers. I will definitely keep an eye on this one.

      6 Replies
      1. re: billyjack
        v
        vttp926 Mar 11, 2013 04:56 PM

        I could have sworn that place was already opened. I remember one of the proprietor of the International Supermarket telling us about going there.

        1. re: vttp926
          b
          billyjack Mar 12, 2013 10:36 AM

          Maybe I'm mistaken. Next time I'm over there I'll check.

          1. re: billyjack
            southernitalian Mar 12, 2013 02:13 PM

            After reading up on the one in Georgia, I've got my fingers and toes crossed that it's the same thing. We finally made it over to Saigon Palace for the buffet this past Sunday. I kind of wish we'd ordered off the menu. Only about half of the dishes were labeled and some of the things we tried weren't recognizable. And for two buffets, two iced teas, the check came to $33. Not worth it.

            1. re: southernitalian
              b
              billyjack Mar 12, 2013 06:11 PM

              I don't think I've been to Saigon Palace since Vietnam Grille opened. Doan's probably fills any gaps VG has on their menu.

            2. re: billyjack
              carolinadawg Apr 30, 2013 12:10 PM

              It is open. Here is an article about it from the CO:

              http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013...

              1. re: carolinadawg
                b
                billyjack May 1, 2013 11:50 AM

                I'm glad they mentioned it. I hope the location isn't too much of a curse for them!

        2. waitress Aug 18, 2011 07:39 AM

          finally tried Le's, great value, $3 a sandwich.. great local business.

           
           
          1. b
            billyjack Mar 10, 2011 07:59 PM

            Since this thread was brought back up I thought I would comment again on Zen. Helen Schwab just wrote about their banh mi last week so maybe their business will pick up, who knows. I've gotten a sandwich there a number of times since I first went last year, you know its hard to pass up a banh mi when you're near it at lunchtime. I still think the bread is lacking something. I like everything else about it, but it doesn't seem to have quite the crispy crust I've had elsewhere. But that could just be how they like their bread, it doesn't seem stale or anything.

            Anyway its well worth the stop. Sometimes it takes a little while to get your sandwich so be prepared to browse while you wait. Oh and I've really come to like the sardine one.

            2 Replies
            1. re: billyjack
              Melanie Wong Apr 25, 2011 12:14 PM

              Sorry to report that Zen International Market is closed. Phone number is still in service, but no one answers. When we drove by, there's a "space available" sign up.
              http://www.zenmarketcharlotte.com/

              -----
              Pho Daravan Restaurant
              4520 N Tryon St Ste 6, Charlotte, NC 28213

              Le's Sandwiches and Cafe
              4520 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28213

              New Century Grocery
              4500 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28213

              Zen International Market
              10225 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                b
                billyjack Apr 29, 2011 08:04 AM

                Yes, its been mentioned a few posts up. They closed a few weeks after I posted that...too bad.

            2. d
              DigitalVelvet Sep 23, 2010 10:49 AM

              I don't recall them having bahn mi, but Vietnam Grille on South Blvd (just below Tyvola) is awesome! The Pho and Bun dishes are incredibly well flavored and the broken rice dishes are as well.

              1. t
                tcamclt Sep 19, 2010 06:42 AM

                There is a new place next to "Three Amigo's" (formerly La Casa De Enchiladas) that serves up some pretty decent Banh Mi. It's called "NC Banh Mi" I believe. I like it better than Thanh Houng down the street because the service is more friendlier, and the place feels cleaner inside. It's on Central Ave across from Dim Sum. I still like Le's Sandwiches a little better, but this is my second stand by when I'm craving Banh Mi

                16 Replies
                1. re: tcamclt
                  slotmansc Sep 20, 2010 08:19 AM

                  I've gotten the sandwiches at NC Banh Mi many times the last several weeks, good value and pretty good sandwiches. Number 1 and Number 5 are faves.

                  1. re: tcamclt
                    h
                    hazardnc Sep 21, 2010 08:28 AM

                    If any of your work Uptown, I noticed that the new place called Wok on Fire has Banh Mi on the menu. The SO tried the Chinese Pork version and declared it "very good." He was bummed they didn't have any of the Vietnamese pork left (and wonders if they ever will). Unusual version I have not seen anywhere before is a fish filet banh mi

                    1. re: hazardnc
                      southernitalian Sep 24, 2010 07:49 AM

                      I went to Wok on Fire at lunch yesterday. They were also out of the Vietnamese Pork so I got Roasted Pork (I don't recall seeing Chinese pork). It was okay. For $5.95 it was a good sized sandwich but there wasn't much pork on it at all. I will definitely go back and try some of the other sandwiches. The people I was with got noodle dishes that they said were good. I'm assuming this place is a chain?

                      1. re: southernitalian
                        w
                        Wok on fire Sep 25, 2010 03:56 PM

                        Hey guys, my name is Matthew and I am the manager of Wok On Fire. We are not a chain, but we do own 2 restaurants, the other is called Liu Liu's in Fort Mill, SC. Hope this helps.
                        Matthew

                        -----
                        Liu Liu's
                        940 Market St, Fort Mill, SC 29708

                        1. re: Wok on fire
                          b
                          billyjack Sep 27, 2010 04:27 PM

                          I've never been to Baxter Village, but I've always been curious if Liu Liu's is related to the Uncle Lius that used to be in Dilworth?

                          -----
                          Liu Liu's
                          940 Market St, Fort Mill, SC 29708

                          1. re: Wok on fire
                            h
                            hazardnc Sep 28, 2010 01:07 PM

                            Matthew, is this owned by Po Liu? She used to have an excellent carry-out place on East (next to Talley's) that had the best wanton soup

                            1. re: Wok on fire
                              southernitalian Oct 13, 2010 10:46 AM

                              Just went to Wok on Fire for the second time. Definitely solid Banh Mi. The place was packed and looks like it's becoming an uptown lunchtime favorite. Good job Matthew!

                              1. re: southernitalian
                                Blind Mind Oct 16, 2010 12:36 PM

                                Glad I found this thread. In town for a convention and just had an awful convention center burger for lunch. Ate 1/2 and threw the rest away. Time to walk for some bahn mi and find out if WoF delivers...

                              2. re: Wok on fire
                                southernitalian Mar 10, 2011 12:21 PM

                                I don't think Matthew is at Wok on Fire, which is now called Wok Bar, anymore. Seems like management has changed and not for the better. I went the other day and they were out of rice! The place looks like they've abandoned the food and the emphasis is on the bar. This was at noon on a Tuesday across the street from the Bank of America corp. center. Not sure what kind of a drinking crowd they're expecting. Such a bummer.

                                1. re: southernitalian
                                  h
                                  hazardnc Mar 10, 2011 06:28 PM

                                  Agreed - went to get a bahn mi and no food! what a shame

                                  1. re: hazardnc
                                    southernitalian Jul 6, 2011 12:02 PM

                                    Hazard - are you still uptown these days? I've been working from home for the most part but I was up last week and saw that this place has changed its name yet again. It's now called Rice Inc. Evidently it just opened yesterday so no reviews are in yet, and there's no website. Let me know if you go.

                          2. re: tcamclt
                            c
                            Ciao Italia Foodie Sep 23, 2010 10:40 AM

                            Have you tried "MJ Banh Mi" next to"NC Banh Mi" on Central Ave? I go just to get the boba at NC Banh Mi!

                            1. re: Ciao Italia Foodie
                              Sam at Novas Apr 4, 2011 09:37 AM

                              Last Saturday I had a craving for trying Banh Mi. I have heard so much discussion about it and I love a good sandwich. After a quick look at these postings, I decided to check out Central Ave since I live just a couple of blocks away from Dim Sum. I had heard a little bit about NC Banh Mi and decided that that would be the first stop to see what they offered and if I did not like what I saw, there are plenty of other choices within a few blocks. NC Banh Mi is closed and the space is for lease. I did not notice any other Banh Mi signs on that side of the road, so I went to the Asian market next to Dim Sum. I went in and inquired if they had “sandwiches” “Banh Mi? I was told yes and shown some premade wrapped up buns with some meat inside. I asked about veges and was told yes, they are in the other cooler. After looking at what they had to offer, I decided what the heck. So I bought two (total price for two Banh Mi along with a bottle of srarchi $8.68). The lady that toke my money told me to warm them in the oven before putting the veges on. The little bags of veges included cucumber, carrot, sweet pepper, cilantro, and some other crunchy stuff. After a few minutes in the toaster oven, a dribble of srarchi, and loading on the veges, the first bite was fantastic. I do not know if this was typical or proper for Banh Mi, but for $3 a sandwich on what I thought was really good crusty crust, melt in your mouth crumb, bread I am sold. I hope that the next trip will provide as good as the first.
                              Ps. I had to check wikipedia for the spelling as there was some inconsistency in the preceding posts. Banh Mi is how wiki spells it fwiw.

                              1. re: Sam at Novas
                                southernitalian Apr 4, 2011 11:48 AM

                                Sam you just reminded me that I drove by Zen the other day and it's closed. Such a bummer.

                                1. re: Sam at Novas
                                  v
                                  vttp926 Apr 4, 2011 05:55 PM

                                  They get the banh mi from New Century. Both of the stores have the same owners, just that one sister is this one and the other at New Century. But you just have to make sure when they made them.

                                  1. re: vttp926
                                    Sam at Novas Apr 6, 2011 12:05 PM

                                    Thanks,that is good to know. I looked at the veges when I made my decision. They looked fairly fresh. The bread "looked" fresh, but that can be hard to tell. At least it wasn't limp and soggy.

                            2. b
                              BDM1 Jul 6, 2010 05:29 PM

                              The family that runs the place in the Asian Corners mall is so nice - too bad it's far away and you ruin your car's suspension just getting there. Thanh Huong is great - the Vietnamese coffee there will make you feel like you are main lining amphetamines! There is a new place I saw just down the road across from Dim Sum. Have not tried it yet but it looks worth the try. . . .

                              -----
                              Thanh Huong
                              3023 Central Ave Ste C, Charlotte, NC 28205

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: BDM1
                                waitress Jul 21, 2010 04:39 PM

                                I went with a group to Dim Sum, yummy yummy.

                                 
                                 
                                 
                                1. re: waitress
                                  GodfatherofLunch Jul 21, 2010 07:39 PM

                                  I too love the dim sum at Dim Sum and your pictures are great.
                                  However Banh Mi are Vietnamese sandwiches so respectfully dim sum has no relevance to the topic on this thread.

                                  1. re: GodfatherofLunch
                                    southernitalian Jul 22, 2010 07:00 AM

                                    Actually, it's relevant to me!!! I go to Pho Hoa on Central at least once every two weeks. We go pretty early in the morning. At around 9. It's literally attached to the building that houses Dim Sum. I always look longingly over there but I'm freaked out about going because unless I'm with someone who knows what they're doing, I don't know how to order dim sum. I've only been two or three times in the past ten years and always with a friend from China who does all of the ordering. Waitress, what can you recommend for two girls with reasonable good appetites? What shoukd we start with?

                                    -----
                                    Pho Hoa Restaurant
                                    3000 Central Ave Ste 1, Charlotte, NC 28205

                                    1. re: southernitalian
                                      GodfatherofLunch Jul 22, 2010 08:18 AM

                                      gotcha, both dim sum & pho hoa are relevant to my life as well as they both rock. Both however have nothing to do with Bahn mi the subject of this post which I guess is changing? Ordering dim sum at dim is not rocket science. First it is only served day time on weekends. Servers have limited english skills but can say things like shrimp dumpling, pork shu mai, pork bun. If you wish to avoid exotic items the chicken feet look amazingly like chicken feet so you may not want to order that. The sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf is one of my favs and has duck and Chinese sausage cooked into the rice. It is all delicious and I urge you to go for it without waiting for a guide, You can handle it for sure and you will have a blast.

                                2. re: BDM1
                                  lynnlato Sep 26, 2010 06:25 AM

                                  I went to Asian Corners mall yesterday to try one of the banh mi sandwiches I've heard so much about. I went into the Vietnamese restaurant and asked if they had them and they said no, but there used to be a family that sold them inside the mall but that they haven't been there for a month or so. I went inside the mall and was scared out of my wits because it looked like a war zone with broken glass, no people and dead roaches the size of my hand. Maybe it's temporary that they closed shop - who knows.

                                  1. re: lynnlato
                                    v
                                    vttp926 Sep 26, 2010 02:52 PM

                                    You should have went to New Century. They sell the basic banh mi thit nguoi there at the bakery counter. I don't know about Lee's if they closed or not. But the inside of Asian Corner mall is pretty scary.

                                    -----
                                    New Century Restaurant
                                    400 S Alabama Ave, Chesnee, SC 29323

                                    1. re: vttp926
                                      lynnlato Sep 27, 2010 09:06 AM

                                      I've been to New Century and had their pork buns, but haven't tried their banh mi. I wanted Lee's because that is what everyone raves about, but sadly it is no more.

                                      SouthernItalian, I wish I would've bumped into you! I find it hard to believe that they actually let people go inside that "mall". It should be condemned.

                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                        v
                                        vttp926 Sep 27, 2010 05:32 PM

                                        I use to rave about Lee's but things have changed so much from when they first opened. The biggest part was that the wife made the sandwiches but the husband wanted to be stingy on the filling. So he would give her a glare and that made her change how much she was putting in the bread. New Century has really good pork buns.

                                        We almost never go inside anymore. So many better places then what is inside there.

                                        -----
                                        New Century Restaurant
                                        400 S Alabama Ave, Chesnee, SC 29323

                                    2. re: lynnlato
                                      southernitalian Sep 27, 2010 06:49 AM

                                      I just missed you! We made the horrendous mistake of thinking that spending the day at Concord Mills would be a good use of our time. Ten minutes after arriving we remembered why we swore our last visit was, in fact, our last visit. We decided to try Truc on the way home sice we're rarely up there and had heard good things about it. We got summer rolls and rare beef pho. The pho was very good, rolls were okay. But the place was dirty and loud and the servers wer emore interested in the Panthers game then in any of the tables. No need to go back. Better pho elsewhere. We decided to go into the "mall" to try to find summer roll wrappers. It truly is a firghtening place. The bahn mi place was open the last time we went at the bginning of the summer but it was boarded up yesterday. We only walked in about ten feet before turning around and running out into the bombed out parking lot. I don't even know if the Chinese place tucked in the corner is still opened because we didn't get that far. That is a sad and scary place and we won't be going back. Ever.

                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                        h
                                        hazardnc Sep 28, 2010 01:06 PM

                                        Oh nooooo! That is terrible news. I better get to my favorite kitchen supply store before they close too

                                        1. re: hazardnc
                                          v
                                          vttp926 Sep 28, 2010 06:13 PM

                                          If you are talking about Dai Sing, I doubt it will be soon before they close. We talked to the owners actually a couple weeks ago and they have so much business lately because their prices are so much more affordable. And it also helps that they sell to anyone and not just corporate.

                                        2. re: lynnlato
                                          v
                                          vttp926 Oct 27, 2010 06:27 PM

                                          lee's bakery inside asian corner mall is still up and running. it looks like they temporarily closed because when i went this past sunday they were full steam and many many customers inside the little shop.

                                          1. re: vttp926
                                            lynnlato Oct 28, 2010 05:15 AM

                                            Good to know, thanks vttp! Guess I need to make the long trek up there and give them a try.

                                      2. h
                                        hazardnc Jul 3, 2010 06:16 AM

                                        We tried the banh mi at the market in Park Rd and found them not as flavorful as the ones at Asian Corner mall, though we though the bread was good.

                                        1. b
                                          billyjack Jun 24, 2010 05:41 AM

                                          Finally tried the banh mi at Zen. Everything was good except for the bread...not sure if it was a little stale or just not that great to begin with. But it was still a great sandwich, and a good value. They have one with "Anchovies in Tomato Sauce" - don't know if I've ever seen that before, I might try it next time. Sounds too weird not to be good.

                                          1. h
                                            hazardnc May 19, 2010 12:18 PM

                                            I walked into Thanh Huong I think - if this is the shop across the parking lot from Inner Harbor Seafood on central. I felt like I'd walked into Saigon - cigarette smoke and all! I was hoping they had a printed menu, but no. I will have to try them some day soon.

                                            Alas, if I am too lazy to go to Asian Corner Mall, I am also too lazy to go to Carolina Place Mall. The traffic out there drives me insane! But, maybe one weekend day I will have to brave it if the sandwiches are worth it.

                                            -----
                                            Thanh Huong
                                            3023 Central Ave Ste C, Charlotte, NC 28205

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: hazardnc
                                              southernitalian May 19, 2010 01:11 PM

                                              It's on Park Road by Tin Tin so you really don't have to deal with the CPM cluster.

                                              -----
                                              Tin Tin
                                              10215 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28210

                                            2. d
                                              Dnanana May 18, 2010 10:54 PM

                                              Zen International Market on Park Rd, near Carolina Place Mall. Grocery store, but they have a small little cafe area with a few Banh Mi options, including a tasty vegetarian one with Tofu. Both the BBQ Pork and Grilled Pork are great. $3.50 for a good sized sandwich.

                                              1. waitress May 18, 2010 05:21 PM

                                                Don't go to Lang Van, they have sandwiches on the menu, but they have been out the past couple of times. We tried Thanh Huong on Central. Scary little place, fantastic Vietnamese coffee, sandwiches average, but in a pinch will satisfy the craving. My friend just told me that the place for bahn mi is beside La Casa de la Enchiliadas on Central. And for Mexican La Casa is delicioso! If you are ever in the Raleigh area, my absolute favorite is Dalat.

                                                -----
                                                Thanh Huong
                                                3023 Central Ave Ste C, Charlotte, NC 28205

                                                 
                                                 
                                                 
                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: waitress
                                                  b
                                                  billyjack May 18, 2010 07:36 PM

                                                  I believe someone mentioned Overseas Market on South having banh mi. Can't say I've ever noticed when I'm there, but I never go there hungry!

                                                  I really wish there was someplace convenient to south Charlotte, because Asian Corners is way too far for a sandwich....

                                                  1. re: billyjack
                                                    lynnlato Jun 25, 2010 01:27 PM

                                                    There is a place in south charlotte actually. It's over on Park Rd. extension back behind where Courtney's used to be.

                                                    Oops, just saw that Dnanana referenced it below. Zen International Market.

                                                    1. re: lynnlato
                                                      b
                                                      billyjack Jul 2, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                      Yeah, I posted about it below- liked it but want to go back to see if the bread is better.

                                                      1. re: billyjack
                                                        lynnlato Sep 23, 2010 04:46 PM

                                                        Have you been to Zen International Market recently? I went over there today and it wasn't where I remember it being (in a little L-shaped strip mall with other ethnice markets, but Zen was in a separate bldg in the parking lot). I saw the Mexicancarneceria & grocer, the Indian market and also a Peruvian rotisserie chicken place called Genaro's. I got take out from Genaro's - it was good, but not nearly as good as Pio Pio. The sauces seemed processed and were very salty. The spicy Peruvian beans were blah, but the chicken was juicy w/ a nicy smoky flavor and the fried plantains made me smile. :-)

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