Apart from Pho, the other quintessential Food to eat when one is in Vietnam is the humble Banh Mi.
Bánh mì (banh mi) literally means bread in Vietnamese. But the word Banh Mi evokes for us an image of a 3/4 foot long baguette sliced down the side, filled with different meats, from luncheon meats to grilled pork patties, to pâté, and always complemented with Vietnamese pickles, cucumbers, cilantro, and finally a bit of chili sauce and spicy peppers to top it off.
The article below identifies 3 of the top Banh Mi in Ho Chi Minh. The writer also gives his comments about the Banh Mi at each of these 3 locations.
My observations didn’t completely agree with the article. Here are my thoughts :
1. Banh Mi Huynh Hoa (Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa) (lesbian banh mi- most famous)
Address: 26 Lê Thị Riêng, Bến Thành, 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
A small shop located at a busy street, there were two healthy queues already formed when I arrived. The queue moved quite fast though and in no time I had my food. Each Banh Mi was standard with a bit of everything you see in the photos.
Taste test – I swear vietnam makes the lightest, flakiest and crispiest baguette in the world . When I bit into this Banh Mi, the crackling and flake shattering just made me close my eyes and smile stupidly. Next came the incredible wave of layers, subtle and no one ingredient overpowering the other. Strangely enough with the smorgasbord of meats and ingredients, the one thought “fresh” came to mind. And amazingly I tasted everything in stages and layers. I tasted the robust liver like pate, next nibbled happily on the chewy pork belly, marvelled at the creamy pork luncheon, was playfully titillated by the bunch of crunchy vegetables, felt a searing sensation when I chanced upon the fiery chilli (it was fiery like the Eng’s wanton noodles “balls numbing” chilli). But everything worked like a dream.
I was as pleased as a fly on faeces with a pleasant disposition. I became as contented as an extroverted pig rolling in a gooey slime, then finding out it’s edible and has antioxidant properties.
It was without question the best Banh Mi I have had in my entire wretched life.
2. Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai (Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng Hẻm 39)
Address: 37 Nguyễn Trãi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (but it’s right at Hem 39)
Open hours: Usually from around 5 pm – 7:30 pm or so daily
When the taxi guy pointed me to enter the small dark alley, I thought there must be a mistake. In the barren unlit alley, I could only see 2 carts with no customers. I walked in and the second cart was the stall. I ordered my Banh Mi to go and I must say the meat patties looked very appealing.
Taste test – After devouring the lesbian Banh Mi, I was stoked and the positive write up in the article of this particular Banh Mi was operating in my mind.
I was as hopeful as an erect hobo at a nymphomaniac conference where he was the only speaker. Score city.
The bread was good – about 95% of the Lesbian. Then a disappointing screech. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t Banh Mi to me. It was one dimensional and all I tasted was the cloying over sweet teriyaki glaze which obscufated any taste of the patty.
It was a phantasmagoria of mediocrity, a cacophony of meh. I was as disappointed as an exuberant rhino given a bunch of non fat gluten free diary-less cookies.
It was a sweet meatball sub not Banh Mi. Didn’t work for me.
3. Banh Mi Hong Hoa
Address: 62 Nguyễn Văn Tráng, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 🖖🏻
Bread is as good as Lesbian, maybe even better.
The writer above prefers Hong Hoa because he says it’s more balanced and well constructed as he finds Lesbian just too full of meat (some of you will appreciate the irony).
Whattttt? Dude- Is there such a thing as too much meat?
In which frigging metro-vegetable horror planet does this principle apply ?
Look – the writer of the article is the famous Mark Weins. Please watch his video and you will see how metrosexual and gentle (Ahem) he is. Now when it comes to meat, will you trust his metro-ness Subject A, or the hardly-evolved-apelike-meat chomping child man-whore Subject B below?
Hong Hoa is a very close second but I find the Lesbian Banh Mi more exuberant in taste precisely because of the extra dong (meat ) in there.
Give me Lesbians any day.