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Restaurant Review: Banh Mi Boys

After enjoying our lunch at Burrito Boyz on August 25th, my girlfriend and I decided to try Banh Mi Boys near Spadina and Queen. On the bus ride there from Harbourfront, I kept checking my phone for reviews because I had reservations about going to a place I never heard of before. I imagined it to be one of a typical Vietnamese restaurants, but I could not have been more wrong.

Once I got there and saw a menu on the screen above the cashier counter, I realized Banh Mi Boys is not a typical sit-down restaurant. My girlfriend and I ordered Grilled Pork Banh Mi, Five Spice Pork Belly Steamed Bao, and Kimchi Fries and waited for a table to be available.

I am not an expert in Vietnamese food, but the Grilled Pork Banh Mi tasted great as the pork was well marinated and the vegetables were fresh. The buns were up to my standard as I could neither smell nor taste the staleness that typically comes with refrigerated buns.

My girlfriend ordered the Five Spice Pork Belly Steamed Bao. It tasted equally as great as the banh mi, though I preferred the latter. Although I spent many winters eating steamed buns out of  my hands, there is something about holding steamed food in my hands that just doesn't cut it for me.

Having visited Ottawa's Smoke's Poutinerie a little too many times during late hours, I had grown sick of eating anything that resembled poutine, which led to my failure to finish my dish when I visited Resto la Banquise. Since then, I slowly eased back into poutine from eating New York Fries' butter chicken poutine. Kimchi Fries, on the other hand, worked for me right out of the box.

No one ingredient in Kimchi Fries overpowered the others; all ingredients actually complemented one another by enhancing or neutralizing the taste. Kimchi's spiciness and sourness neutralized the greasiness of mayonnaise, whereas it enhanced the taste of pulled pork, as it typically does so in many Korean dishes featuring kimchi and pork.

During our visit, a number of customers were turned around because only banh mis were available as it neared the closing time. What would be nice to have is a dynamically changing menu that shows availability of different menu items.

I am giving Banh Mi Boys 4 stars out of 5. (★★★★☆)

Banh Mi Boys on Urbanspoon