Monday, December 24, 2012

Quick Eats: Banh Mi Boys- Toronto, ON

After just finishing lunch in Toronto's Downtown district, my companion and I were walking down Queen St. on our way home when we walked by Banh Mi Boys. For the longest time, I have seen people post pictures on Facebook and endlessly rave about this restaurant that I had no clue even existed. Nor did I know where it was located, until now. I quickly found out that the Banh Mi boys Sandwich shop serves what I can only call Asian-American Fusion. It must have been fate. We had just one big problem; we had just eaten and were stuffed to the brim. But I couldn't let this chance pass away. When was I going to come back specifically for Banh Mi Boys? I decided to get a little taste of what everyone has been praising about.

Pork belly Bao with pickled carrots, cilantro and cucumber
Upon entering this sandwich shop, I first noticed that the decor was very simple. There were white tables and red/wood walls; something very plain. However, I was there for the food; something more important that what the outside and even inside looked like. The menu consists of many different worldly flavors, from Korean to Chinese to Vietnamese, and even French! After spending a few minutes looking at the menu, I decided on the pork belly steamed bao (priced at $3.49). A bao in Chinese is a soft, steamed bread-like bun perfect for meats, vegetables and other assorted fillings. After my name was called, the cook asks how spicy you would like your food. Once I told her, I recieved my   astonishing large bun with a big slice of pork belly. On top of the pork belly were tons of shredded, pickled carrots, a slice of cucumber, cilantro and some hoi sin sauce. The pork belly was rich and had just the right amount of fat content to it. It was clear that the pork belly was slowly cooked, as the natural juices of the fat dripped off the meat only enhancing the experience.

The pickled carrots, along with the sliced cucumber and cilantro added a nice crisp and fresh taste to a bun that needed something to cut the pork. However, the best part of that bao had to be the bun itself; it was so soft, warm and fresh. The white bun, which was very fluffy and light, provided a nice base for the fatty pork belly. And nothing pairs better with pork belly than hoi sin sauce. The prices of Banh Mi Boys is very fair, especially for the steamed baos. Most items range from ~$4.00-7.00 and for any meal that is quite reasonable.

Although the pork belly bun I had was quite tasty, there are still too many things on the menu that I need to try in order to give this restaurant a legitimate review. I have heard one of their best dishes is the Kimchi fries, which is freshly cut potato or sweet potato fries topped with pulled pork, mayonassie, green onion and kimchi (fermented cabbage) selling for $5.99. I look forward to trying that on my next visit!

Banh Mi Boys on Urbanspoon

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