Sunday, May 16, 2010
Banh Mi Battel-Allston MA
What: Beef Banh Mi
Where: Pho Viet's (inside what was Super 88)
1095 Commonwealth Ave
Allston MA 02215
How Much: $3.50
Yeay, yeah, yeah...mixed Asian reference. Not a spelling mistake...
Banh Mi. The words glaze over the eyes of everyone in earshot of me...
(readers, cue PJ Harvey - Good Fortune) (clicking on link should open YouTube in a new browser tab so you can hear my selected audio track playing, but you will have to click back on this tab to return)
This days travels took me into Boston
for work and for tickets to the Paradise for the John Doe/Exene show for lunch. I should face the facts and my true motivation. I've been waiting for just the right excuse to go back to the place that set the bar for me for Banh Mi. I needed to bring a camera to take a picture. I needed to have a beef Banh Mi to put it into perspective with all the others that i have tried recently.
Banh Mi University graduate? Oh yes! Summa Cum Laude. No usual deli wrap, but I got the GOLDEN BAG (great for catching all the bread crust crumbs until you are ready to eat). (Yes, that is my usual luncheon dining table in the picture) Bread was perfect. It was crusty on the outside as expected and had that slightly chewy inside that I prefer. The meat was there in quantity and VERY tasty. Meat did NOT have grilled/char marks. The size of the beef pieces was average as was quantity. Plant material was outstanding. Cilantro was crisp and not one hint of darkness on the leaves. Carrots and daikon/onion also very crisp and tasty. The cucumber was long and large and very fresh. One piece took up the whole length of the sandwich. No scallions. The smear of mayo was just right. I asked for some Sriracha. The added it with gusto. Killer touch. The chili burn was full on by the time I finished. Sandwich size was comparable to most. Good value for the money. A bit more expensive than most places, but still a cheap meal.
Free parking in the (what was Super 88) parking lot.
I'd give it 5.5B/6.
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A near perfect score! If I had not been to Ba Le (see Banh Mi Battel-Quincy), this would be the standard. Although I was told last week by Kim at Kim's Gifts up in Portland ME (see review last month) that I need to go into Dorchester MA to get even better ones.
Yes, Pepe (of the North) was with me at Kim's. No, we did not partake our fixes underneath a bridge. Yes, he did leave the Mrs. and Cheddar at home. It clouds his mind just as much as it does mine. Next thing you know, he may embrace the Catholic Church.