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Bahn Mi Baguettes (just the bread) Source?

threedogs Apr 22, 2011 07:13 AM

Since I managed to aggravate a yr old knee injury, I decided to make this Easter easy (albeit, my definition of *easy*). Food will be sandwiches - but not ordinary sandwiches, of course. I'll have a choice of lots of cold cuts, veggies, toppings (made aioli, roasted peppers, marinated Vietnamese-style pickes) and the fam can put together their own Italian or Bahn Mi sandwiches.

Only thing I'm lacking are the baguettes. I make bread a lot, but I made this bread yet, and I don't want to experiment right before a holiday (recipe for disaster!) I *could* do a cold rise overnight & have some good baguettes ready on Sunday - but I'd rather use my time baking chocolate babka instead. :D

Anyone know where I could buy a dozen somewhat near Watertown? I'm sure there are Vietnamese grocery stores around here that sell them (used to buy them in Lynn when I lived out there)? Don't have the time to search!

  1. galangatron Apr 22, 2011 07:32 AM

    banh mi ba le on dot ave in dorchester. 3 for $1

    1. chefematician Apr 22, 2011 07:56 AM

      Head to Fields Corner in Dorchester. There are a bunch of places on Dot Ave that sell Bahn Mi and maybe some will sell you just the baguettes. I know that Ba Le sells just the baguettes, but I cannot attest to their quality.

      -----
      Ba Le Cafe
      1449 Dorchester Avenue, Boston, MA

      6 Replies
      1. re: chefematician
        threedogs Apr 22, 2011 08:03 AM

        So is Ba Le in Fields Corner? I don't know Dorchester at all.

        [Edit: Never mind. Did a search on Fields Corner - Google is my friend...]

        -----
        Ba Le Cafe
        1449 Dorchester Avenue, Boston, MA

        1. re: threedogs
          g
          grant.cook Apr 22, 2011 08:10 AM

          Get a sandwich while you are there.. and their rolls are a nice snack as well

          1. re: threedogs
            g
            grant.cook Apr 22, 2011 08:12 AM

            King Do Bakery - a bit down the street from Ba Le - 1229 Dorchester Avenue - sells them as well. I think the name might have changed, but its still the same Vietnamese sandwich shop.

            -----
            Ba Le Cafe
            1449 Dorchester Avenue, Boston, MA

            1. re: grant.cook
              galangatron Apr 22, 2011 08:14 AM

              the sign says "la baguette" but everything else says "king do." weird

            2. re: threedogs
              galangatron Apr 22, 2011 08:13 AM

              it's actually closer to savin hill than fields corner

              1. re: galangatron
                threedogs Apr 22, 2011 08:41 AM

                Doesn't matter - don't know my savin hill fr my fields corner (yet). Need to rely on a map search w/the address (*not* google maps, as they are totally whacked out these days - they put me in the middle of the ocean, and just now I had a map that labeled the area in Brighton near the Franciscan Hospital as Waltham!! Way to get totally lost, lol..)

          2. mjg0725 Apr 22, 2011 12:45 PM

            In Lowell, you could get them from Hong Cuc. They bake them in house.

            http://www.yelp.com/biz/hong-cuc-sand...

            One of the Best Bahn Mi's I have had as well.

            -----
            Hong Cuc Sandwich Shop
            507 Dutton St, Lowell, MA 01854

            3 Replies
            1. re: mjg0725
              hotoynoodle Apr 22, 2011 01:49 PM

              also can get them at the battambang market in lowell.

              1. re: hotoynoodle
                threedogs Apr 22, 2011 02:53 PM

                OK, you two are killing me here. "They bake them in house." and "One of the Best Bahn Mi's I have had.." is making me very hungry right now. And I've never been to Battambang Market. I absolutely love Vietnamese food, and Bahn Mi's - can't begin to tell you how I love those sandwiches!

                Lowell is no way close to me here in Watertown. <grrrr>

                While this won't work for Sunday, I clearly need a plausible excuse to get up to Lowell.

                This is bordering on urgent...

                1. re: threedogs
                  greygarious Apr 23, 2011 01:21 PM

                  Skip Battambang. I never saw it in its prime, but posted about my first (and only) visit there last month. The stock of almost everything was skimpy. Lots of empty space. Most of the produce was limp and oozing. H-Mart must be doing them in. I bought some stuff mostly because I felt bad for them. But do go for the Banh Mis. If not for Chowhound, I'd never have even stumbled on Hong Cuc, since it's not easily seen from the street, much less had the nerve to enter. The place is dingy inside and out. Next to is is a seafood market. I haven't shopped there because my next stop was going to be Battambang, which I expected would have a wide assortment of fresh fish (very little, as it turns out). Has anyone tried the Dutton St. place? I don't know the name - it's Cambodian or Vietnamese.

                  -----
                  H-Mart
                  3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

            2. opinionatedchef Apr 22, 2011 02:28 PM

              3, with your bum knee and all, might you sub w/ iggy's baguettes- so close to you?(p.s. sorry for the pun ishment; i never am talented enough to do that on purpose)

              or, for an asian source closer to watertown, isn't there some place in abundant allston/brighton- like the super 88/c mart ? maybe allstonian knows............

              1 Reply
              1. re: opinionatedchef
                threedogs Apr 22, 2011 02:48 PM

                o-c, I think you're right (good pun, btw). Did some food shopping (wholesale mart in Chelsea - now do I *really* need 120 mini cannolli shells? No matter - food never goes to waste here. Going to use them w/pie filling, too, so I can skip my annual, seasonal pie-crust frustration). Now the knee is throbbing. This really stinks, as there is so much I want to do, plus the fear the possibility of surgery isn't pleasant. Not. At. All.

                Driving home was super easy, but the traffic would have been brutal if I tried to get to Dorchester. (I'm thankful that at least now, it's my left knee that's bothering me, so it doesn't interfere w/my driving too much.)

                Didn't even think of Iggy's! Still getting used to my new 'hood. ;D. It's so funny though - every time I leave the house I'm amazing at how much is nearby. So very cool.

                I've been to Super 88 a few times recently, and never noticed bread. There *is* some sort of magnet there though... I find myself pulled over to the food court for those awesome Banh Mi's, usually getting one to eat there, then another for supper. I need to try something else though, to get me out of my comfort zone of, 'oooooo - this was so great, I think I'll get it a zillions times more'...haha. But then again, I think I'm addicted to them. Honestly, I think my knee was just a good excuse to try to have that awesomeness at home.

              2. threedogs Apr 22, 2011 03:08 PM

                Well, Dorchester is out for me, for this weekend at least. Had hoped to be able to shoot over there after doing some food shopping this afternoon, but my timing was off. I'd still be stuck in that traffic if I tried.

                So right now, I'm thinking I'll either take up opinionatedchef's idea (unless someone else chimes w/someplace closer) & get some baguettes there tomorrow morning (my family doesn't care for authenticity - they just want stuff that tastes good), or if I feel well enough, I might start a dough myself. Baguettes are easy for me (haven't made any for awhile, though). Only problem is my fridge is packed, and I like using a cold rise for more flavor.

                I see (on google) that Waltham has a lot of ethnic markets (crappy knee!! I should have been out there already! Grumble, grumble...), but fr what I read on google, doesn't seem to be Viet markets there.

                Arax is on the way to Iggy's, & I can pick up some olives along the way (and garlic for the pickles & roasted peppers I have marinating - of all things to forget - garlic!).

                My kids always laugh when I announce that we are having an 'easy' holiday. But seriously, for me, this IS easy.

                All I have to actually put together fr scratch are the ravioli's w/Purity's ricotta (hooray for Russo's!! and hooray for Russo's being actually so close to me!!). That, to me, is fun. As long as this #%@& knee holds out...

                7 Replies
                1. re: threedogs
                  t
                  teezeetoo Apr 22, 2011 05:35 PM

                  if you're going to Russo's, while their baguettes aren't quite iggy's or clear flours, they are very good and fresh.

                  1. re: teezeetoo
                    threedogs Apr 23, 2011 03:36 AM

                    Thanks for the reminder! Duh - they carry Iggy's, too. I don't need to go to Russo's anymore (got what I needed yesterday). However, they're very close (would even be walkable distance if my knee hadn't flared up), and I also didn't expect to wake up in more pain this morning. Sigh... Very discouraging. May opt to a visit to the ER early this wk rather than try to wait for another cancellation w/my specialist.

                    I started a levain last night so I can bake my own, mostly based on a recipe I just found. Just took a peak & it looks good (at the risk of getting this moved to the cooking board) - the recipe uses a small proportion of cooked rice blended with more water. I might also put together a basic mixture that I've tried before (so I don't have the disaster of no edible bread on Easter!), too, to bake *before* Russo's closes - so I'll know if I need to buy. Since I use no-knead combined w/stretch & fold, (which I can handle w/my office wheelie chair in the kitchen) this should actually work out.

                    Thanks everyone for your help. Chowhound is awesome - and, once my knee heals, I DEF need to visit Dorchester AND Lowell for my fav sandwich. I'm also addicted to vermicelli bowls... mmm.

                    1. re: threedogs
                      mjg0725 Apr 23, 2011 10:38 AM

                      If your in Lowell, and you love Vermicelli bowls, you gotta hit Pho 88. So fresh and so tasty. Get it with some type of BBQ meat or shrimp and take it home for dinner (assuming your have a Bahn Mi or two for lunch). Toss it all together with fish or peanut sauce in a big bowl and you have quite a meal for yourself.

                      One of my favorite eats in the area! Pho 88 is good for so many dishes.

                      -----
                      Pho 88
                      1270 Westford St, Lowell, MA 01851

                      1. re: mjg0725
                        opinionatedchef Apr 23, 2011 10:51 AM

                        oh boy. lowell is an hour away, so i can see it now: picking up banh mi and vermicelli bowls for take out, on our way to our new addiction- Meena's Kitchen, South Indian home cooking , in Nashua. the second frig will DEFinitely be bursting after that trip:-) thnx for that tip.

                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                          mjg0725 Apr 23, 2011 11:35 AM

                          Haha, second fridge. They hold up perfectly for takeout because you put the sauce on them when your ready to eat em. Love the fish sauce with this dish myself...

                          1. re: mjg0725
                            opinionatedchef Apr 23, 2011 02:29 PM

                            i have yet to read through the long banh mi threads.You have a fav place or 2 in lowell for them? and which types preferest thou? thnx much.

                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                              mjg0725 Apr 25, 2011 07:37 AM

                              Honestly, it's only the second place I have tried in Lowell. The first place was a few years ago and I do not remember the name of it because I was not too impressed by it.

                              I have had the Shredded Chicken and BBQ beef at Hong Cuc and enjoyed them both. They have a one page menu with different combos on it to choose from as well.

                2. threedogs Apr 23, 2011 08:53 PM

                  Getting back to my baguette situation - went out to Arax this morning (and, I think Massis - the one closer to Fordee's) to pick up some more ingredients for tomorrow. Massis had baguettes, & I was tempted, but I already started some that were waiting in my kitchen. [I know this is off-subject, but I tried a recipe that included a small percentage of cooked rice blended w/water in an attempt to duplicate these wonderful, elusive baguettes that are the perfect wrapping for the flavorful fillings. I messed up several times, but they still turned out good. Not authentic, but good.]

                  Also moved my computer - not a laptop- in the kitchen to help me, along w/my wheelie office chair - pain is still bad, so I guess I'm more likely to visit the ER this wk rather than any Vietnamese restaurant! :-(

                  They aren't anywhere close to light & fluffy like the real Viet Banh Mi baguettes, but they'll suffice. I have another dough to rise overnight that I put together to bake tomorrow morning - despite doubling the recipe, I still don't have enough.. I *know* I eat too much (lol - I might lie, but my hips can't) but man, I don't get it. (Probably the Italian in me that is saying, "does not compute." hahaha)

                  Of course, this is coming fr someone who is planning an 'easy' holiday meal that consists of foods from at least five different countries...

                  1. opinionatedchef Apr 24, 2011 11:10 PM

                    3, i ran across this just now as i was researching this new banh mi interest. thought you might enjoy:
                    re: davis_sq_pro I'm still waiting for other bahn mi vendors to pick up on Mei Sum's bread. I love it and is one of the key reasons why I prefer Mei Sum's bahn mi over that of most other vendors. It's got good texture and crust, without being TOO crusty. One of my least favorite things about bahn mi is having the crust cut into the roof of my mouth with every bite. :(

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                    By kobuta on Sep 20, 2010 09:04PM

                    re: kobuta Perhaps as a bakery, Mei Sum bakes their own bread?

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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                    By MC Slim JB on Sep 20, 2010 09:26PM

                    re: MC Slim JB Speaking of peering over the counter, the last time I was at Mei Sum I spotted their bread (which I agree is instrumental in their superiority) in bags: Quinzani's.

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                    By glenn mcdonald on Sep 20, 2010 10:22PM

                    re: glenn mcdonald Nice over the counter peering. Quinzani's who knew?

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                    By StriperGuy on Sep 21, 2010 04:15AM

                    re: StriperGuy Chowhounds: Violating Sandwich-Makers' Personal Space Since 1997. ™

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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