Dorchester MA 02125
How much: $3.00
Time of visit: a Thursday about 1:45PM
Dorchester is the capital of Banh Mi in the Boston area. This is the fifth review of a Banh Mi place there and I have at least one more that I am aware of. I hope to get into Boston proper soon.
(readers, cue Gary Clail On U Sound System - Beef) (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 through Quincy as I headed down the Expressway from Cambridge down to Milton. Yes, Quincy. I tried to go to Ba Le in Quincy as it was close by one of my stops I needed to make that day. When I got into the grocery and turned the corner to their stall, I saw that it had the grate pulled closed. Shut out. What was plan B? I still had a couple of options ten minutes away in Dorchester. Back into the Buttalimobile…
I’ve been in Dorchester often over the last two months. On one of those trips, I tried to visit a place called Ba Phu. It was closed. I tried calling the phone number from the sign outside, in case the closure was only temporary. No answer or message machine/voice mail when I called from the parking lot. I called the next day and a woman told me that a new owner was going to open at the end of January.
Nhu Lan is set back off the street a bit with some parking in the lot in front of the business. As you can see in the first photo, they have just opened recently.
My order was taken by a very nice young man. I asked for a printed menu and he pointed to one (see menu uploaded to Urbanspoon). I took the photo of the menu board anyway and he started asking polite questions. Did I work around there? What did I do? I’m not sure if he figured out that I blogged about food. I did not volunteer anything.
Banh Mi University graduate? Oh, yes! Golden Bag goodness! The bread was excellent! I noticed that Nhu Lan stored their bread in the usual paper bags, but took care to place plastic over the bags in an effort to keep them fresh. The crust was crisp and eggshell thin. The inside was light and airy with that slightly chewy texture. The beef was very tasty and appeared to be well seasoned with black pepper. It was very thinly cut into tender, rectangular shaped pieces. There was only two springs of cilantro, but no hint of darkness. The carrots were mixed with equally with daikon, generous, tasty, slightly pickled and yet still a bit crisp. The cucumber was fresh and thin, sliced all the way through as opposed to the usual spear. A few scallions were visible. The Banh Mi did drip a very little bit and had a pronounced fish sauce taste which was great! Mayo seemed to be absent. A few thin jalapeno slices were added on top, but were were very hot. The sandwich had a very good afterburn. I did ask for "spicy".
The parking lot was cramped, but within a few minutes a spot opened up. Street parking is usually not bad around here.
At $3.00, a very good deal. I want Nhu Lan to succeed. Their staff seemed to take a bit more interest in the customer here. I hope they can work out any kinks from their recent opening. I will be back to check on them soon. It is a great option to Ba Le down the road at 1052 Dot Ave.
I'd give the Banh Mi a 4.0B/6.
(__!__) (__!__) (__!__) (__!__)