Banh Mi Baby! – Banh Mi My Tho (Battle Part 1)
Now that I’ve popped my Bahn Mi cherry, my compulsive nature has lead me to do extensive Yelp and Chowhound research in search of the perfect one. From what I can garner it seems that top ranking in the LA area comes down to two places Banh Mi Che Cali and Banh Mi My Tho. Both places are given high ratings and have loyal followers who defend theirs over the other so I figured I should try them both and see for myself which sandwich reigns supreme. First challenger is Bahn Mi My Tho.
I recruit my ever willing and curious Sis and we load up the kids to grab some sandwiches and have a nice picnic. Finding Banh Mi My Tho was simple enough for us, thanks to our dumpling tour we now know this area pretty well. Banh Mi My Tho is a tiny little place with just a counter and some refrigerator cases. We get there early about 12:00 on a Tuesday and the place is humming but not too busy. I’ve read it can get so busy that it’s confusing to determine who’s in line to order and who’s waiting. I ordered the #8 Grilled Pork, Daughter ordered the #9 Grilled Beef and Sis ordered the #8 Grilled pork with added paté. We also tried the eggrolls and one skewer of pork meatballs. Egg Rolls were good while we waited for sandwiches; crispy, a little oily and perfectly meaty. Meatballs equally delicious.
So how were the Banh Mi’s? I’m starting to understand the many debates on this subject. This sandwich is all about balance of texture and flavors and that is quite subjective. You may like your bread softer or less pickled veggies or more mayo etc etc. Overall I liked this one, it had an added bonus sprinkling of chopped peanuts although I think I prefer mine without it. I wish it had more mayo (they may have used butter instead I’m not sure) and the meat had good flavor but not as flavorful as the filling at Tapioca & Pho. The Pork with Paté was OK. It was kind of light on the paté and the paté itself didn’t have a whole lot of flavor. I think I still like Tapioca & Pho best so far.
Banh Mi #8 Grilled Pork – I give it a 4 out of 5
Banh Mi #9 Grilled Beef – just as good as #8 a 4