Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Banh Mi Battel-Dorchester MA#1

What: #7 Beef Grill BBQ Banh Mi
Where: La Baguette Restaurant (aka King Do)
1229 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester MA 02125
How Much: $3.50

Banh Mi. The words give me pause and cause me to wonder just what and where is the perfect Banh Mi sandwich shop.  Thanks for some posts on Chowhound and Yelp, I found a place to try that I have not been to yet.

(readers, cue Street Dogs - In Defense of Dorchester though I'm not sure these two should even be on the same page) (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 day's travels took me to Dorchester MA for work. Well, I was in Milton and this was close enough.

Lots of similarities to the Kent WA post...

Banh Mi University graduate?  Yeah, I guess. Note the white deli wrap (though way bigger than I am used to) and elastic as one would expect.  The bread was the big downfall.  For me, the most important part of a sandwich is the bread. It was a fresh and chewy inside, but the crust was barely crisp. Maybe due to all the snow we just got the day before I visited, the bread baking/delivery didn't happen and they had to use some frozen stuff.  The skin inside my mouth was safe, but I just could not get past the lack of crunchy bread shards. The meat was there in quantity and tasty, not at all fatty. The size of the beef pieces were above average, similar to Nhu Y in Lowell.  The beef was thin and wide with consistent quarter-sized pieces. The beef tasted ...well...not marinated and certainly not caramelized nor spicy.  Plant material quality was very good esp. considering the weather.  Cilantro was crisp, but very sparse. There was no hint of darkness on the leaves.  Carrots and daikon were somewhat crisp, though also not generous.  The cucumber was fresh, but thin.  A few scallions were visible. The Banh Mi did drip a very little bit, but not seem to have much fish/soy sauce on it. There was no sign/taste of mayo.  Jalapenos were very large and plentiful, but they did not seem too hot. The sandwich had a no afterburn.  Size was comparable to most.  The counter help was very friendly, spoke English and asked if I wanted hot peppers.  I asked for "very spicy", which it did not turn out to be.

As you can see in the first picture, the name is now La Baguette at least on the outside of the storefront.  The takeout bag was King Do. I asked for a menu. the woman handling the cash register said that they did not have one, but handed me a business card (that was printed as King Do Baguette & Pastry).  The second picture will have to do as a menu.  They also serve bubble teas.  There are tables to sit and eat.  I was focus on the Banh Mi and did not check out the pastry collection.  Everything looked very clean and the television screen menu is pretty good looking.

I'd give it 3B/6

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An ok banh mi, worth a trip if you are near Dot Ave.  In the coming months, I'll try to get to Banh Mi Ba Le, Hau Giang, Chau Bakery and Lee's Store down the street soon to compare.

King do Baguette and Pastry on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Mario - Another great banh mi post. I enjoy seeing banh mi from different parts of the country. I particularly love sandwiches from ma and pa shops. I look forward to reading future banh mi posts. :)

Mario Buttali (no relation to the famous chef) said...

Thanks Anon! Another headed your way soon. Recommendations for future visits are highly appreciated.