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Angéla is alive and hopping at 81 rue de Turbigo

1. Waaaaaaaa !
2. Still making killer Banh Mi.
3. Space: 4 times as big as before. Now she complains it's too big.
4. Space quite empty of furniture. Sacrée Angéla says she will buy some tables and chairs when she has money.
5. My only complaint is that the new place is just a little too long a walk to my former fave Banh Mi picnic spot: the secret Jardin Anne Frank. That leaves Square du Temple as the only viable nearby picnic venue.
6. Do drop by and say bonjour. She is ecstatic to see old customers.
7. Waaaaaaaa !

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    1. Yay! Just in time for my visit! (hint hint!)

      2 Replies
        1. Tasted and confirmed !

          No more pork today, so I had the beef... it has nothing to do with the banh mi that replaced her in her old spot, it is as succulent as ever, and yes, I'm happy.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Rio Yeti

            Am getting my Angéla fix tomorrow…

            1. re: Parigi

              She asked me how I had found the new place, and I told her about Chowhound and that she was a star here... I think I may have seen a blush ;)

              I didn't plan on going today, next time I'll let you know, maybe we can meet up there.

                  1. re: sistereurope

                    I thought you were arriving earlier, Sister.
                    The 24 or 31 is cool. Let's also check the weather. This is picnic food.
                    Rio, want to join us ?

                    1. re: Parigi

                      I can't on the 24th, but can on the 31st.

                      1. re: Rio Yeti

                        it's a date then (weather permitting)

                        1. re: sistereurope

                          OK with me.
                          I'll order in the morning or the night before.
                          Lucky we did today. We got the penultimate barbecue pork sandwiches.

            2. re: Rio Yeti

              Looks like this is right near where I'm staying, so glad this got bumped! Will have to try.

            3. Rio and Ria Yeti and Sisterurope and we had a picnic in the Jardin Anne Frank. I was in charge of Banh Mi pickup. I ordered ahead of time 1 non-spicy barbecue beef and 4 slightly-slightly spicy barbecue pork. It was Banh Mi nirvana. I really can't eat spicy, but I recommend that everyone try barbecue pork or beef with at least slightly spicy version of the barbecue pork or beef.
              Sistereurope, coming from another side of Paris, was in charge of picking up 10 orgasmic Portuguese egg tarts from "Comme à Lisbonne".
              Fabulous company. Fabulous day. Fabulous food. Purrrrrrr

              6 Replies
              1. re: Parigi

                I like to write, and to spice my sentences, and to say in a complicated manner what I could say in three words...

                But sometimes, the internet's abbreviations come in handy.

                So I will therefore only add :

                +1

                1. re: Parigi

                  I was there thursday. Shambolic and a little crazy, but very good.

                  1. re: vielleanglaise

                    That's why I always pre-order, to give Angéla less stress. Next time you are on our picnic invite list.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      With pleasure. There's about 19 of us.

                  2. re: Parigi

                    That sounds lovely, like le Jardin Anne Frank. I don't think she ever got to Paris with her parents and Margot (though she lived between two major European cities until her deportation and murder)but I like seeing her spirit there.

                    I have a friend only a few years younger than Anne who had to wear the yellow star in Paris under the occupation; she and her family were saved by a complicit (and officially fascist) Italian functionary. She went on to become a professor of Italian and a ferocious opponent of any form of racism, and just as feisty, cultivated and vivid in her retirement.

                    Doing the math, I see that Anne, as a cultivated person from two countries with good hygiene, would have stood a very good chance of still being alive. This underlines the loss of her and so many other people in war and racial persecutions.

                    By the way, yes, this Parisian friend LOVES banh mi!

                  3. Sorriest for missing it and y'all.

                    1. What's her Banh Mi like?

                      I remember making rounds in frequently discussed Bahn Mi joints during a "Banh Mi craze" of 2008 in NYC. Those highly discussed and popular were "all you can stuff in" types more reminiscent of a philly cheese steak or a meatball hoagie with dripping grease and resulting soggy bread: far from what should represent a Banh Mi as known in Vietnam.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Kurtis

                        Her banh mi are not like that. Your choice of pork, beef or chicken, all tender and juicy in their respective sauces. A few extra fresh and crispy marinated vegetables and herbs. A dollop of heat if you're up for it, and a nice crunchy baguette.

                        No sogginess in sight !

                        1. re: Rio Yeti

                          And she goes to her shop early every morning to make her killer barbecue sauce from scratch. She complains that I come only on the weekend and therefore never taste her Banh Mi during the week when it is made by her fave boulangerie. This is her approach to every ingredient of her Banh Mi : perfectionist.

                        2. re: Kurtis

                          Kurtis, that sounds frankly disgusting. Banh mi aren't heavy or dripping of anything. We have good ones here in Montréal; see the Québec board if you are visiting here. Some of the best are in my neighbourhood, near the Jean-Talon market.

                        3. Playing the geezer/I was there, were you? card:
                          I'm forced to comment; I don't get the Banh Mi craze.
                          When those of us in the French and American military were in Viet Nam, Banh Mi were so-what, eat-on-the-street, don't-think- about-it-twice food items; just as sushi, guacamole, ramen and pogača (oh that was another mission) were.
                          I think we need to reintroduce the draft to introduce cloistered youngsters and maybe mid-sters to what we oldsters consider regular not exotic food.

                          54 Replies
                          1. re: John Talbott

                            " just as sushi, guacamole, ramen"
                            And there is good sushi, bad sushi, good guacamole, bad guacamole, good ramen, bad ramen. They are not all created equal, would you not agree ?
                            It would be like saying if you had tasted one Bourride / coq au vin / cassoulet, you have tasted them all. If you yourself really believe that, John, you would not be reviewing restaurants, you would not even go to different restaurants. They're all the same. You know, sushi, guacamole, ramen, French food…

                            1. re: John Talbott

                              Of course the underlying assumption is that the Banh Mi in a war torn country is going to be good despite the pressure on food sources. You also need to assume the local traders didn't adjust their wares to suit the tastes of the thousands of visiting troops. So maybe the "so-what street food" was less than real back then and the newer versions are actually closer to the real thing?

                              1. re: PhilD

                                Or, the [insert your own pedestrian ethnic grub] gone wild where the "wild" version has no resemblance or representation of the original; not that it has to, but when it is named so without basic understanding of the original, it turns into the bizarre and the unidentifiable.

                                1. re: Kurtis

                                  Angela's Banh Mi are very similar to the ones we buy on Clement Street and on 6th Avenue. I give my home town sandwiches a slight edge, but Angela's are definitely not shabby.

                                  1. re: mangeur

                                    Not fair comparison. Clement ! It has top global food fengshui !

                                  2. re: Kurtis

                                    ....and of course foods from relatively poor counties change when produced in richer countries. So ingredient quality/quantity can improve/increase significantly (or maybe decrease going from backyard to supermarket chicken). Or poor ingredient availability can cause dishes to morph into a new version. So often the evolution is natural rather than by design.

                                    1. re: Kurtis

                                      Pork liver pate is a pretty standard addition to banh mi in Hanoi and HCMC. The stuff is very flavourful, grey-ish and often seems to come from a block with some cottage-industry type packaging around it. It's spread on like you would do with butter before all the other ingredients go on. It really made the sandwich for me but after a monumentally bad stomach upset a few years ago which carried over through all of the next day's flight out, I now ask for it to be left out.

                                      I've read (on this board I think) that the pate spread is omitted in France because it would be considered too weird in combination with the meat.

                                      1. re: shakti2

                                        I agree here, the pork liver pate in the classic banh mi thit nguo, aka "special combo" really does make the sandwich. I've also had some poorly handled ones while in VN but luckily not prior to a flight...

                                        "I've read (on this board I think) that the pate spread is omitted in France because it would be considered too weird in combination with the meat."

                                        Hmm, does Angela's version omit the pate? It's this combination that make it a classic.

                                        1. re: shakti2

                                          It is common here in Montréal, but under far better sanitary conditions, and of course a far colder climate.

                                    2. re: John Talbott

                                      I'm not sure I understand. These foods aren't exotic because you ate them, though there are innumerable folks of the same generation for whom these items (or, say, burgers) are completely exotic?

                                      Youngsters don't consider many of these items to be "exotic." The reason why these foods are popular today are because they're comfort foods, and while you didn't include the following, you could even list things like: mac 'n cheese, fried chicken, burgers, beer, bread et ainsi de suite even in the U.S. of A., where these foods were most certainly "so what" foods.

                                      A "new" interest in the comfort foods of other cultures corresponds to a renewed interest in comfort foods in general. Many of these are not even reimaginings or contemporary twists on comfort food: they're straight up properly prepared versions of the original. There are plenty of Japanese who worship sushi and ramen in ways American food bloggers could but fervently wish to emulate. On the other end of the spectrum: as cheap sushi or all-you-can-eats are immensely popular in North America or France, it's hard to say that something like sushi has become anything but a "so what" food. The pre-prepared plastic-covered sarcophagus of sushi many people eat for lunch are no less "so what" than the similarly-packaged sandwich.

                                      As for banh mi? Sure, there's a lot of places selling a reimagined version. However, there's still the places where old ladies are making them for $2 a pop. My grandma's sushi was "so what" food for me, but I still love sushi and, well, Ptipois can tell you more on that subject. On the other end of the spectrum, I'm not culturally-inclined to being a hamburger fanatic. That said, I love burgers and the "so what" variety of a burger rarely appeals to me.

                                      The success (and perhaps possibly even the existence of) a place like Shake Shack shows that hopefully you're at least being completely facetious. That being said, there are a lot of French people at Shake Shack... Uh oh.

                                      1. re: John Talbott

                                        Sorry to jump on the "geezer bashing" wagon, but I'm with everybody else and sincerely do not understand your comment...

                                        Seeing sushi and ramen described as "so-what, eat-on-the-street, don't-think- about-it-twice food items" is like seeing the description of a fairy being brutally murdered by a shark... "So-what" ?? Ramen ?? Sushi ??

                                        Of course in Japan there are tons of Ramen places and Sushi places, but that doesn't mean the japanese don't take them very seriously, and a lot of them (especially on a website like Chowhound) will happily hop on the subway to go to a ramen place, instead of just getting inside any shop "not thinking about it twice"... And even when you do enter just any shop, chances are you will find behind the counter a chef that is proud of its ramen. Unfortunately that can't be said about banh mi in France (or even about most food unfortunately)... so when there is a gem like Angela, really proud of her Banh Mi, and with reason, it should be mentioned.

                                        1. re: Rio Yeti

                                          No offense taken Rio; What I intended to say and did so ineptly, was that Americans and now French, and perhaps others, "discover" food items that are considered normal in their mother countries but revolutionary in the US and France.
                                          I love kimchi, for example, but when writers go gaga at this "new" discovery, I'm puzzled.
                                          And yes I've stood on the street at Clement Street at 6th Avenue and had theirs.
                                          I guess I shouldn't be a grouchy geezer and accept the fact that food fads come and go and enjoy pumpkin soup, daikon and kumquats while they in in vogue.

                                          1. re: John Talbott

                                            Where did you buy yours? On 6th Avemue or on Clement?

                                            1. re: mangeur

                                              I don't have my SF bills from 2012 with me and can only locate one note about Larkin Street.

                                              1. re: John Talbott

                                                Ah. Another neighborhood with banh mi abeit across town.

                                                1. re: John Talbott

                                                  (That was likely Saigon Sandwich? My fav on that street near my office, but there are other new places as well.)

                                                  1. re: Jake Dear

                                                    That's it, Jake, and I think it was on your recommendation. Thanks.

                                              2. re: John Talbott

                                                It's funny you mention kimchi, because I was about to write about it. As you probably know there aren't two kimchis alike, and as a "banchan" or sidedish, it would be ridiculous to cross town for a particularly good one... or maybe not.
                                                I understand your point, I just feel that, as Parigi said, Banh Mi is not a fad in France (yet ?), and Angela's version has never been described as "revolutionary". So while I get your point, and agree with you, I don't think that this thread was the right place to bring that up, because it felt like you were accusing us of being "fad sheep" (and by the way, that's going to be the name of my next psychedelic progressive rock band).

                                                1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                  I would agree Rio, but with different reasons.

                                                  As there are personal, seasonal, degrees of aging (from minutes to more than 3 years) as well as regional (more than 200 varieties survive currently) differences in kimchi, it makes a interesting pursuit. And while restaurants are where many are readily available, it's the invitations to individual homes where one can taste the good stuff; many friendships and marriages are made and broken is how the legend goes ;)

                                                  Would I cross town on an invitation to a friend whose wife is from Julla province known to make soul-comforting kimchi with raw oysters? You bet.

                                                  1. re: Kurtis

                                                    The "or maybe not" from my previous post was implying that I would cross town for a particularly good one. ;)

                                                    1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                      As you have crossed continents and oceans, I knew you would. I was just making a general comment about kimchi which is, at the least of its importance, includes my last name : )

                                                2. re: John Talbott

                                                  Can we agree that we will never enjoy another kale-centric dish?

                                                      1. re: Ptipois

                                                        Great point, Pti. Begs the question, "How many fads are truly "enjoyable"? Particularly when they become commercialized or franchised or, in the case of restaurant menus, monkey see, monkey do. ("Hey, ya gotta add a kale dish". ) My idea of soulless food.

                                                        1. re: John Talbott

                                                          She's not poor. She's happy. She has Kale.

                                                        2. re: mangeur

                                                          Not even Dutch Stamppot?

                                                          I often bought frozen kale when in Amsterdam on a limited budget. Frozen, it wasn't tough, and (Italian in me) I love bitter greens.

                                                          What I don't get is things like kale salad, which is impossible to digest.

                                                          And I loathe smoothies of any provenance.

                                                          1. re: lagatta

                                                            Sorriest, but, no, not even for..,

                                                              1. re: Parigi

                                                                Fads are annoying. But when they are cloaked in a mantel of "Eat this! It's good for you! It's vital for you!", and you find it on every menu day after day, it becomes harder and harder for me to sign on. And I am The Veggie Freak talking.

                                                                I was eating kale and potato soup 70 years ago and somehow our Swedish next door neighbor, who used to pass a pot over the back fence, used to make it delicious. Where is she now, I wonder...

                                                                1. re: mangeur

                                                                  If you are making it, I am crossing state lines...

                                                                  1. re: Kurtis

                                                                    Kurtis, I have tried to duplicate it over time but she has me bested. However, if you will travel, I'll keep trying.

                                                                  2. re: mangeur

                                                                    Mangeur, you must be (even) older than me! ('m a boomer). I was very shocked by the weird stuff about kale after I'd learnt to love it as a local winter vegetable in the Netherlands. Of course dark green vegetables are good for you, but it is fine if you prefer spinach, Vlita, Chinese greens (which are also brassicas) or chard.

                                                                    There are no "miracle foods".

                                                                    Nowadays my Dutch friends make stamppot with garlic, onion, perhaps olive oil (or butter) and have plenty of Indonesian sambals to pepper it up for hotheads.

                                                                    I make it thus in the depths of a Québec winter.

                                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                                      lagatta, I am turning my bike around and heading north!
                                                                      (mangeur, please keep trying. I will get there some day :)

                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                        I'm older, to steal a quote from someone on another forum, than God's teeth. Not quite older than the Venerable One but breathing heavily down his neck.

                                                                        In Northern California, we have no winter. Greens of all kinds are year round. Some people rue the absence of seasons. I love it.

                                                                        1. re: mangeur

                                                                          Oh, I would too. There are lots of other lovely things about Montréal, but I hate the winters, especially the last one, which was very hard. Kept me from cycling for almost 3 months, and I wasn't happy or healthy.

                                                                          When I was studying in Italy, locals called that a winter...

                                                                      2. re: mangeur

                                                                        Indeed my first thought after hearing all the kale mumbo-jumbo is that if there is really such a miracle food that tastes so unremarkable, why not pop vitamin pills in lieu of eating ?

                                                                        1. re: Parigi

                                                                          It's the same story for North Americans and things like oily fish and seaweed: "Man, who wants to eat that when I can just eat tilapia with iceberg lettuce and take a couple pills?"

                                                                          After having tried CalorieMate and Soylent for kicks, I can definitely say I'd rather go the Popeye route than the Jetsons.

                                                                          1. re: yakionigiri

                                                                            What bugs me about the kale fad is the smugness of it. "We know you're health-hip, so just look what we've done with kale. Betcha didn't know it could be made into ice cream!"

                                                                            One of my favorite Paris restaurants uses a ton of bitter greens per service (or so it seems) but I have never noticed so much as a leaf of kale.

                                                                            Stuff kale! Oh, they've already done that. Better check out your pigeon...

                                                                            1. re: mangeur

                                                                              I can think of a much better food product deserving of smugness...

                                                                              Feeling anemic? Vegan diet got you down? Spirulina pills too pricy? Too hip for the plebs and their brassicae? We've got just the thing for you...

                                                                               
                                                                              1. re: yakionigiri

                                                                                So, what is it and can it restore my "vitality?"

                                                                                1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                  Horse ice cream.

                                                                                  Yes. I think so. Well, probably not. No studies conducted as of yet.

                                                                                2. re: yakionigiri

                                                                                  If I google this, am I going to be bombarded by adult content ads? =8-0

                                                                                3. re: mangeur

                                                                                  Kale is not eaten much in France. I don't know about the northern regions next to Belgium with more Flemish influence.

                                                                                  According to this article (in Dutch, from Belgium) it is a "forgotten vegetable" in Belgium, though it is eaten in some Flemish regions and also in Liège, as Carneval. But it is braised or stewed, not made into silly things like "kale ice cream".
                                                                                  http://www.agf.nl/artikel/105298/Boer...

                                                                                  It is, of course, eaten in the Netherlands (boerenkool) and Northern Germany (Grünkohl). And it has nothing to do with food fads.

                                                                                  1. re: lagatta

                                                                                    Chou frisé has been regularly featured in French language cooking magazines this past year.

                                                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                                                      Some forgotten vegetables are forgotten for a good reason.

                                                                    2. re: John Talbott

                                                                      I believe it was I who "revealed" Angela to these boards in 2010. And I'm proud of it!

                                                                    3. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                      My take on John's comment is that many of these "so-what, eat-on-the-street, don't-think- about-it-twice food items" more current reinventions have taken the paths of absurd hype and re-reinventions beyond recognition. $500+ sushi meal, $100+ ramen, and $20+ pastrami sandwich or banh mi has their seekers, but more often as curiosity than genuine interest (and sometimes geared to satisfy just this), and more often for the travelers than the locals.

                                                                      The other end of this issue when good original food is poorly reinvented in another country. Take Galbi/bulgogi in Korea. Generally, a modest portion of this is served at the beginning of a meal, with various cuts you order, followed by a bowl of cold buckwheat noodle soup, or fermented bean soup. But as expected, AYCE places flourish in the US, and even a respectable food critic votes it the "best galbi in town" even though the quality of meat always suffers under these circumstances.

                                                                      "Once every hundred years Jesus of Nazareth meets Jesus of the Christian in a garden among the hills of Lebanon. And they talk long; and each time Jesus of Nazareth goes away saying to Jesus of the Christian, "My friend, I don't think I recognize who you are""

                                                                      -Kahlil Gibran

                                                                      1. re: Kurtis

                                                                        That you Kurtis, I think you "got it" better than I.

                                                                        1. re: Kurtis

                                                                          If you and John are saying that we just eat Banh Mi for the fad and will pay 100 euro for it, well…
                                                                          (1) I didn't know there WAS a Banh Mi fad; Banh Mi, at least in Paris, has never been a fad. It was and is one of many ethnic street foods;
                                                                          (2) Angéla's Banh Mi is not priced like a hot stock; in fact its price has not changed;
                                                                          (3) Regardless of the mundaneness of the food genre or whether you choose to recognize it as a food fad, there are good executions and there are bad executions. I try to seek out good executions. Trivializing an entire genre is still trivializing. No superiority there to fad worship.

                                                                          Otherwise, you and John are right on all the other points. :)

                                                                          1. re: Parigi

                                                                            I don't understand the turn that this benign thread has taken. My take was that Angela's was originally mentioned as an inexpensive and fast street food that was crafted to order. It was mentioned again when Angela gave up the original space and again when she resurfaced on Turbigo.

                                                                            As with any mention on Chow, lots of people made it a destination and many were delighted, others not so much. It was never a fad other than among readers. It's just another cheap lunch option, like Chinese Ravioli Nord Est.

                                                                            As far as "ho-hum", at John's and my age, it is difficult to come up with a readily available food or dish that we haven't tried. That doesn't mean that any of them isn't potentially delicious and enjoyable, only that we've been around the track a few times. For those who have not experienced these foods, they can certainly be a revelation when well executed, as Angela's are.

                                                                            I don't believe in nay-saying just because I find a restaurant boring or not to my taste. Every day someone on Chowhound touts a restaurant I think is grim, but if others like it, my opinion is beside the point. In fact, I not infrequently write up a restaurant with a neutral point of view because it has some merit even though I didn't particularly enjoy it. I don't tout it; I merely describe it.

                                                                            Angela is what she/it is. Fresh, cheap, true to its origins (as much as any transplanted food is true), delicious if you like banh mi. Try it if you are in the neighborhood; cross town if you are a FOMO. It's not a big deal.